PORTLAND OREGON ADULT RESOURCES
There are numerous resources and providers for Asperger Syndrome children and their parents in Portland. This list does not cover those resources, primarily because their focus is on children and parenting issues and not AS adults. Several existing AS support groups in the Portland metropolitan area do have parent members with adult children, but the thrust of their discussions and activities center on childhood and adolescence. These groups wax and wane. It’s unfortunate but true that as AS children mature into adulthood, their parents who have been strong supportive partners in such organizations want to move on in their lives as well. It’s only natural. They want to re-establish new bonds in their marriages. They attend to the other children in the family. They move on to other generational issues. Unfortunately, very few of these parents stick around “for the long haul” to walk alongside new members. It could be otherwise, but up to this time, that hasn’t happened.
The resources linked from this index page focus exclusively on adult issues. These resources have met continually, are reliable and solid sources of support and professional development, and have stood the test of time. While their members come and go, the resources themselves appear to have developed a life of their own.
Recently, the Portland Aspergers Network, a parent support group, attained 501 (c) (3) non-profit status. Its board of directors is too new, and the corporate entity is so fresh as to be untried, to consider expanding its potential to include causes or organizations heavily focused on AS adult concerns that up to the present have stood completely on their own. One thing such a non-profit organization could do is raise enough money or attract grants allowing the parents of Portland’s Asperger Syndrome children and adults to put on conferences and major events. That’s happened in other parts of the country, and in other parts of the state of Oregon even before chapters of national or state autism organizations were formed in their respective communities. It has yet to happen in Portland, the state’s largest metropolitan area.
I hope this list of adult resources can be expanded, and that other adult AS resources will come into being. Minimally, I can see a need for an organization dedicated, exclusively, to affordable housing for AS adults. I can envision an organization that assists parents of adult AS children and the AS adults themselves in substantial, person-centered, long-term planning. I can envision a coalition of adult health, adult recreation and leisure, and dignified, living-wage adult employment resources having some kind of stand-alone, permanent life. The Portland metropolitan area is big enough and has both the social and the economic capital to make this possible.
In the meantime, here are three entities that do address adult issues. None of these resources are affiliated with any national or state autism or AS organizations. Click your mouse on the title of each to be taken to a description of the resource.