Dallasnews.com: North Texas academy for people with autism seeks its first students

While the efforts are being lauded in the autism community as among the first-of-its kind in Texas, concern persists nationwide about how many people will ultimately be able to afford these types of programs.

“The options are great for the families that can afford it, but we’re very concerned about the 98 percent of of our families that can’t,” said Kearon.

Debra Caudy estimates the cost per year for someone to attend the 29 Acres transitional school will be close to $60,000, about the cost of a private college. The 29 Acres non-profit arm plans to subsidize about $10,000 of the total cost with scholarships and fundraisers.

The group is also trying to lower the costs by seeking public funding for people with disabilities through Texas Workforce Commission, Caudy said.

Often the only alternatives are traditional group home services which are covered by health insurance, like the federal Medicaid program. But families said those options tend to be less individualized, offer fewer choices to residents about what they can do and eat, and have more people in one home.

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