Autism is diagnosed when patients show signs of impaired social interactions and impaired communications. Patients also show a repetitive behavior pattern. Autistic people make unusual gestures and have a general lack of responsiveness.
Autism is a spectrum disorder, with some people classified as high functioning, while others function at very low levels. For example, one-third of autistic people don’t develop sufficient speech to meet life’s daily needs. Others have repetitive behaviors like rocking back and forth, hand waving,or head rolling. Many autistic people have compulsive behaviors, too, like rearranging objects or needing a ritual of doing things exactly the same way every day.
These individuals often have limited focus and attention spans and may even injure themselves.
Much is still not known about autism, but it is thought to be present at birth. Children start showing signs of neurological developmental disorder around age 3.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) classifies autism disability as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Guidelines were updated in 2017. To claim disability benefits (SSDI), you must show severe deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction. You also must show compelling evidence of repetitive behaviors that restrict the ability to socially interact with other people. SSA will consider all three when determining a child’s ability to qualify for an autism disability.
Most often, SSA sees claims filed by parents on behalf of children. Adults with autism can also apply, but SSDI requires that you have a demonstrated work history. Parents with adult children can receive disability benefits for that child if the child is older than 18 and diagnosed with autism before age 22.
Either way, when you file, it is important to have detailed medical records that support the autism diagnosis. Evidence of special cognitive, psychological, or any other standardized testing is important, as are notes from psychologists, teachers, or other health professionals.
The application process can be complicated, so consider hiring Clauson Law to help you through the process of applying for benefits for an autism disability.