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Finding The Right Home For Your Adult Child With Autism
Finding the right home for your adult child with autism
Lisa Jo Rudy
Marianne Ehlert of Protected Tomorrows works with the families of people on the autism spectrum to plan for adult living. Available options for people on the autism spectrum vary from state to state and individual to individual. Possibilities range from complete independence to institutional living. Figuring out just what a particular individual needs, where to find it, and how to fund it, can be a complex process.
Ehlert notes that it's important to begin thinking about adult living while your child with autism is still young. In part, that's because children with autism are usually eligible for special needs and transition programs through their schools, which means that your child's educational program can be crafted to support your plans for the future. It's also because the process of thinking through, planning for and creating an ideal living situation for a person on the autism spectrum may take a long time.
Step One - Envision an Ideal Setting for Your Adult Child With Autism
Where would your child thrive? In a city? On a farm? On his own? With a group? At home with parents? In essence, says Ehlert, there are five general living options available:
∗ At home with family
∗ Apartment with services that come in and check on residents (make sure they are paying bills, cleaning, etc.) These are living support services, and they could be privately or publically funded.
∗ Housing unit program/roommate -- individuals live in a house or apartment building that belongs to a structured support group; caregiver makes sure everyone is OK at night, runs programs, etc.
∗ Group home (community integrated living arrangement) -- caregiver lives on site
∗ "Dorm-style," large facilities (institutional settings, very low level workshop living)
Step Two - Determine if Your Ideal Setting Exists
Often, information about adult living situations in your state or province is available thr...