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Autism is a condition that occurs in early childhood development which inhibits social interaction and communication. The onset of autism can start as early as infancy or at the toddler stage of two-three years. Symptoms appear in three main areas of development, which are social, communication and behavior. While autism varies in severity, all autistic children have trouble in each of the three areas. The ability of those with autism can range from severely impaired with low levels of intelligence to high functioning with normal or high intelligence.

Whether or not you qualify for disability depends entirely on the information obtained from your medical records and academic records. When applying for disability, areas of concern are deficits in:
  • Self-Care Skills (bathing, grooming, dressing, eating and meal preparation)
  • Severe Behavior Problems
  • Medical Conditions (i.e. ADHD, seizures, tantrums, aggression, smearing feces or (pica – craving non-food items))
  • Communication, some or no expressive language
  • An IQ of 75 or lower
  • Ambulatory issues
  • Capacity for Independent Living, whether a person is completely dependent for all household activities.
  • Self-Direction – is the child dependent on others for management of their personal affairs
Make sure to focus and document all areas your child experiences challenges in their everyday activities.

Adults with Autism

An adult disabled before age 22 may be eligible for child’s benefits if a parent is deceased or is receiving retirement or disability benefits. Social Security considers this a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record. An adult child receiving SSI should still check to see if benefits may be payable on a parent’s earnings record. Higher benefits might be payable and entitlement to Medicare may be possible.
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