Name: Levan Porteous.
Died: March 14, 2018.
Age at death: 20.
Cause of death: Suicide/Neglect (Hanged self; denied therapy because he aged out of juvenile services).
Location: South Norwood, London, England, UK.
Levan had been under the care of a psychiatrist since the age of four. He had had trouble at school and suffered from extreme levels of stress.
However, he also had a passionate love of music.
At age 20, Levan aged out of the juvenile services he had been receiving for his depression and anxiety. Little was available for autistic adults, so Levan found himself waiting longer and longer to see his therapist. He wanted to go to college, but he couldn’t enroll until he found a solution for the sleep problems he had that made him too tired during the day. Sleeping pills wouldn’t work, and the services available for Levan now that he was an adult were severely lacking.
Levan committed suicide by hanging.
Getting appropriate services as an adult can be very hard. Aging out of the school system often leaves autistic adults without support, unsure how to find the help we still need to live in a neurotypical world. If you have this problem, don’t give up. Try services for developmental disabilities, for mental illness, for disabilities in general; be persistent, polite, and don’t take no for an answer. If someone says they can’t help you, ask them who can. Enroll family or friends, if available, to make phone calls when you are out of energy for social interaction. If you are in high school, insist on proper transition planning, so that you can prevent this problem when you graduate or age out.