Taking Care with Assumptions
There's no doubt that the structure of present-day society is woefully inadequate to meet the needs of the autistic population. Still, when it's assumed that the solution consists entirely of arranging for more government-provided services to take care of autistic people, this assumption—although well intentioned—falls short of addressing the core issue. When we have a major structural problem in our society, as we do, it needs to be dealt with through radical structural change.
Parents should not have to worry about finding care for an autistic child throughout his or her lifespan. Instead, they should simply be able to take for granted—as they would with any other child—that he or she will have access to a reliable means of communication, a good education that builds on his or her strengths, equal employment opportunity in a job market that values everyone's skills, and living arrangements that are appropriate to his or her individual needs and preferences.
Having a difference or disability should not automatically equate to being a passive recipient of caretaking services forever, without any meaningful choices. Yes, autistic people need some assistance in daily life; but then, so does everyone else on the planet. We need other people's services to build and furnish and heat and power our homes, to grow and process and package our food, to weave our fabrics and sew our clothing. Nobody is truly independent. Our society takes care of all of us, in a vast multitude of ways.
If we resolved to make a collective effort to ensure that all autistics (and others with disability labels) could get a decent education and would not face discrimination in the workplace, I expect we would soon discover that most would be able to work and pay taxes and buy whatever products and services they needed. Social service agencies would then have ample funds available to help those who, for whatever reasons, could not earn sufficient wages to provide for their needs. Under this paradigm, services would be based not on diagnostic labels, but on individualized need assessments. Competence and self-determination would be assumed, rather than disorder and dependency. People would be empowered to take care of themselves.