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Help for the autistic

The Star Ledger

Your Dec. 15 story about the crisis in adult services in New Jersey is a good first wakeup call, alerting the public to the lack of programs that are fundamental to the needs of adults with autism and their families. The Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community's white paper presents a comprehensive plan for addressing these issues, which affect the entire community, not just those with autism. We cannot afford to throw away the advances made for children with autism through publicly funded education when these children, now one in 166 of all children, reach adulthood. Adults with autism can live, work and contribute to the community with the proper support and opportunities, and as human beings they are entitled to that.
I urge Gov. Jon Corzine, state legislators, the Department of Human Services and all citizens to take notice and support the COSAC white paper. Let us not push the snooze button now that the alarm has been sounded.

-- Linda Walder Fiddle, Ridgewood

The writer is a trustee of the Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community.