Question: How do entitlements for public funding change when my child turns 22?
Answer: Well, during the school years, students do have the entitlement for services underneath the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act or IDEA. Once they leave school, however, there are no mandated services unless the individual is under some public funding such as Medicaid, where you can receive funding for purchase of therapies that are in the community. But, by and large, the adult communities do not have entitlements for services like what they would be getting if they were under the school system, where there's a whole host of teachers and staff that are there dedicated to training this person on a day-by-day basis, and even throughout the year at some times.
The adult years are more difficult because the funding is so much more limited. But through the Medicaid funding and through the public-assistance funding and some of the agencies and foundations that are out there, there is funding available. Parents and the individual with the disability do need to pursue that funding so that they can get those funds in order to purchase the services that they're needing at that point.