“For most young parents, receiving the news that their toddler child is on the autism spectrum is devastating. But an even bigger challenge awaits these parents 20 to 30 years down the road when these children have grown into adults with nowhere to go.

That’s the focus of “Aging Out,” a 32-minute documentary that will premiere Friday night, Nov. 22, at the Carlsbad City Library’s Schulman Auditorium. The film was written, directed and produced by Carlsbad filmmaker Melissa Collins-Porter, who is the mother of an adult son with autism.

In the film, Collins-Porter examines the challenges parents like herself face when they search for affordable housing, meaningful work, recreation, social and other support services for the special-needs adult children who will likely outlive them. And the problem is growing exponentially. A 2016 study by the California Department of Education found that more than 97,000 students in California public schools had an autism diagnosis, which was seven times the number recorded in 2001.

While Collins-Porter said California is far more progressive than most other states in providing services to adults with autism, it’s not nearly enough to meet the demand, according to Jill Escher, who is president of the San Francisco Bay Area Autism Society and the parent of a child with autism.”

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