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This April 2, once again we will light it up blue and spend several days discussing autism awareness. But for those of us who have children in the spectrum, every day is autism awareness day.

For years we have used this time of year to focus on early signs, early intervention and inclusion. This emphasis has created the misconception that autism impacts small children and so a common question that many of us are asked is if our children are “still” autistic.

High school options are limited, transportation options are challenging, vocational training is scarce and independent living/housing options are practically non-existent.  At 22 our children must leave the public school system and the only program available for thousands of children in the spectrum who are not high-functioning is a few spots at Florida International University Panther Life and Panther Plus, an amazing program that should be implemented in all of our state colleges and universities.

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