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So I need to plan. I need to find ways to maximize their incomes, for now and after my husband and I have died. I need to conserve them, and cultivate caring and diligent people to serve as their successor conservators, or shall I say, perma-parents. I need special needs trusts and ABLE accounts to both protect their assets and assure their eligibility for government benefits. I must find or create adult programs or supported employment where they can be safe, happy, engaged and always learning. I need to find big-hearted caregivers who revel in their work. I need to find them homes. And along the way I need to advocate for sensible government policies that facilitate all of the above.
It's an almost unbelievably difficult task (and in my case, doubled), one shared by an ever-growing number of parents in the Bay Area and beyond. We at SFASA are hosting our annual conference, "Into the Future: An Adult Autism/DD Planning Workshop" because we want to bring our community together around these challenging topics. When we conducted a survey early this year, your message was clear: you are gravely concerned about the future, you want help, you want information, you want a pragmatic approach. We can't make you immortal, but we can help you navigate the future.
Based on DDS figures, California's significantly disabled adult autism population will quadruple within 20 years to more than 100,000—a massive and unprecedented challenge we must face with seriousness of purpose and collaborative vigor. Our conference is a small step in that direction.
But register soon, we are on track to sell out early. And if you can't make it, we're livestreaming (and videotaping) our mainstage presentation for free. A big thank-you to all our presenters, volunteers, board, and Stanford for making this event happen. And special thanks to our generous sponsors, who you will find listed below. It's not too late to add your sponsorship, see details here.
See you on December 3d at Stanford!
PS: You can find archives and videos of our first two adult autism/DD conferences online:
2014 "A Place for Us" and
2015 "Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom."