Posted by WTOL Intern Travis Schafer
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Like all parents with special needs children, Fred and Julie Treuhaft face setting up longterm care for their 18-year-old autistic son, Ross. Caring for him is currently a 24 hour responsibility.
Two of their children, Jay and Kate, will follow the journey that many others do. They will go through school and eventually be on their own. But with Ross, the future is unclear.
"We just don't know where it's going to lead," said Julie. "He will be in some sort of formal education through age 22, but after that it's a big question mark."
For Julie, caring for Ross is her full time job. "This is my life. I'm a stay-at-home mom and this is what I do," she said.
One way to care for Ross as an adult is if he lived in a residential care facility or a group home, but spots at such places are scarce. In some cases, it is a 10-year wait to get in. This is because there are an estimated 27,000 adults with a developmental disability in the State of Ohio right now on a waitlist for funding to pay for their care.
When Ross was diagnosed at the age of two, there were one in 10,000 cases of autism, but now it's one in every 110.
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