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posted: 5/15/2017 5:00 AM

Don't leave these young adults behind

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I hope that a growing group of young adults are not forgotten in Illinois.

These are young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, who have aged out of Illinois schools or will be soon be at age 22, who cannot participate in a standard employment interview and who may need supported employment or volunteer opportunities to survive outside their parents' homes in the future.

Regardless of the state budget impasse, Illinois legislators from both sides of the aisle should have little problem in agreeing that the state should provide a way to connect special needs young adults with businesses and organizations that want to employ or provide volunteer opportunities for these young adults.

Not addressing this critical issue and not providing ways to reduce the states PUNS list, will wind up costing the state more money in the future and make a crisis that will never go way, that much worse.

I ask the following questions. Why hasn't Gov. Rauner and his administration addressed the critical issue of providing a future for young adults with autism or other developmental disabilities, like my son who will be going from high school to the adult transition program at Kirk School in Palatine.

Where are Democratic candidates for governor Daniel Biss, Chris Kennedy and J.B. Pritzker on this critical issue for parents? Where are the local state legislators?

What local businesses and/or organizations will help give employment and/or volunteer opportunities to young adults with developmental disabilities?

If there are answers to these questions, this parent would like to know.

Mike Baker


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