Our Unique Center Provides Healthy Transition for Adults with Autism:
Since 1987, the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has skyrocketed more than 1,100 percent. According to recent statistics, the U.S. spends $11.5 billion dollars a year on everything from educational programs to medical therapies for children with ASD. But what happens when these children become adults? “Unfortunately, they often get lost,” said Dr. Christopher Hanks of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “For children, the care is fairly structured around them, but as they move into the adult-based care settings, these patients can really struggle and all too often are forgotten,” said Hanks.
Ohio State University Opens New Transition Program
(August 12, 2014) - The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is opening the Center for Autism Services and Transition (CAST), a new program to help young adults with autism gain independence on their transition to adulthood. According to OSU, CAST is one of only a few clinics in the country to provide care coordination and primary and specialty care services for adults with ASD.
“We want to provide a place where they can come for medical care knowing that we have an entire staff who truly understands their needs,” said Dr. Christopher Hanks, a physician at OSU Wexner Medical Center who provides primary care for adults with ASD and the medical director of CAST.
Ohio State University program helps adults with autism thrive
Braden Gertz is an early childhood education specialist, and a swimming instructor. The 24-year-old is also living with autism.
"It's hard living on your own because you don't know what to do for yourself," said Gertz.
Dr. Christopher Hanks, a pediatric and internal medicine specialist at Ohio State University, says only about 10 to 15 percent of adults with autism are able to live independently like Braden.
New Program At Ohio State Aims To Help Autistic Children Transition Into Adulthood
Braden Gertz is a 24-year-old man with autism. He is also a student at Ohio State and a swimming instructor. What makes Braden unique is that he lives on his own and teaches children with Autism, just like him. “I take down the chairs, clean up the table, set out the cups, and I set up some snacks,” Gertz explains.
In just a week, he will have seven new students starting his class at OSU's Nisonger Center. He makes up lesson plans and sets up activities all on his own.
Dr. Christopher Hanks at Ohio State knows Braden is a success story and wants to see more successes. That is why the hospital recently opened the Center for Autism Services and Transition, also known as CAST.
Read and Watch More
Nathawad R1, Hanks C. Optimizing the Office Visit for Adolescents with Special Health Care Needs. 2017 Aug;47(8):182-189. doi: 10.1016/j.cppeds.2017.07.002. Epub 2017 Aug 26.
Bates K., Nourie C.E., Hanks C., and Friedland, A. Legal Options, Challenges and Insights in Supporting Young Adults with Disabilities. SGIM Forum 2013; 36(4): 6, 13.
Care of Adults with Chronic Childhood Conditions: A Practical Guide; Editors: Pilapil, M., DeLaet, D.E., Kuo, A.A., Peacock, C., Sharma, N. (Eds.); Addresses the unique health care needs of adults with chronic childhood illnesses (2017)