All contents of this resource were created for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, therapist, or other qualified health providers with any questions or concerns you may have.
When it comes to housing options for adults with autism, there is a wide range of choices available. Each individual has unique needs and preferences, making it crucial to consider person-centered choices. In this article, we will explore various housing options for adults with autism. Additionally, we will discuss strategies for financing these housing options and provide a list of important questions to ask when deciding on housing placements.
Topics covered in this article:
- Person Centered Planning
- Types of Housing Options
- Living with Family
- Adult Foster Care
- Group Home
- Planned Communities
- Supported Living
- Independent Living
- How to Pay for Housing
- Questions to Ask When Deciding on Housing Placements
Person Centered Planning
It’s critical to include individuals with autism in decision-making. Their preferences, abilities, and dreams matter a lot when choosing a place to live. Therefore, using a special planning method called person centered planning, is most important. This planning method involves family, caregivers, and professionals working together to help the individual make the best choice for themselves. This helps the individual plan for their future and think about what they want, need, and hope for in terms of independence, safety, and health.
Types of Housing Options
Living with Family
- Living with family can provide a familiar and supportive environment for adults with autism.
- Additionally, it is crucial to ensure that the living space is adapted to meet the individual’s specific needs.
- To promote independence, establish routines and strategies in collaboration with family members.
- Furthermore, seek community resources and support networks to assist with caregiving and respite services.
Adult Foster Care
- Adult foster care offers a family-like environment with professional caregivers.
- Importantly, look for foster care facilities experienced in supporting individuals with autism.
- Additionally, it is essential to evaluate the level of individualized care and support provided.
- Research licensing requirements and assess the quality of care provided by the facility.
- Group homes offer a supportive community environment for adults with autism.
- Individuals share a house with support staff living onsite for 24/7 care.
- Look for group homes specifically designed to meet the needs of individuals on the autism spectrum.
- Certainly, evaluate the staff-to-resident ratio and qualifications of the caregivers.
- Lastly, inquire about the programs, activities, and therapies available to residents.
- Planned communities are residential areas designed specifically for individuals with disabilities.
- Ensure that the community provides appropriate accommodations for individuals with autism.
- Consider proximity to essential services, transportation, and recreational activities.
- Assess the availability of support services within the community, such as behavioral therapy or vocational training.
- Supported living allows individuals to live independently with varying degrees of assistance from trained staff members.
- When it comes to support levels, it can vary significantly, ranging from occasional check-ins with on-call support to more intensive, daily support, depending on the specific needs of individuals.
- Determine the level of support and supervision provided by support agencies or organizations.
- When considering options, it is important to thoroughly evaluate the qualifications and training of the support staff involved.
- Likewise, research available resources for individuals with autism transitioning into supported living.
- Independent living enables adults with autism to live on their own.
- Assess the individual’s ability to manage daily activities and responsibilities independently.
- Work on independent living skills at home and at school. TACA’s article on Life Skills has a checklist of skills to work on.
- In order to support independent living, it is essential to identify and explore available community resources and services that can provide valuable assistance in achieving this goal.
- Encourage the individual to develop a network of friends, mentors, and professionals for ongoing support.
How to Pay for Housing
- Explore government-funded housing programs, such as Section 811, HUD Housing Choice Voucher Program, and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
- Research Medicaid waiver eligibility and Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) for financial assistance.
- Consult local housing authorities to inquire about affordable housing options for adults with autism.
- Explore grants, scholarships, or charitable organizations dedicated to supporting individuals with autism.
- When navigating housing options, it is advisable to consult financial planners or specialists who have experience in this field.
- Consider the individual’s eligibility for subsidized housing or rental assistance programs.
Questions to Ask When Deciding on Housing Placements
- What specific supports and services are provided for individuals with autism?
- What is the staff-to-resident ratio, and what are the qualifications of the caregivers?
- How does the facility or community handle behavioral challenges?
- What are the security features of the residential building and/or development?
- Are there opportunities for socialization and community engagement?
- What is the level of independence encouraged and supported?
- How are medical and healthcare needs addressed?
- Is transportation readily available for residents?
- What are the costs associated with the housing option, and are there financial assistance programs available?
- How are emergencies and crises managed within the facility or community?
- Can you speak to current or past residents and their families about their experiences?
In summary, choosing the right housing option for adults with autism is a significant decision that requires careful consideration of individual needs and preferences. Whether it’s living with family, exploring group homes or planned communities, or pursuing supported or independent living, it’s important to research and evaluate each option thoroughly. It is important to understand how to finance these housing options and ask important questions. This will help your family to make informed choices that provide a nurturing and supportive environment for your loved one with autism.