Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Residential Options for Adults with Autism

Continuing our series on services for adults with autism, here's an overview of residential options.

Some adults with autism may live at home with family or may live independently in their own home, but there are a variety of additional options that families can consider when looking at housing and residential options for their adult children with autism.

Supported Living: minimal levels of support services are provided to an individual who is able to live in an apartment or house. These services are provided by caregivers who work under the direction of the individual and customize support services to meet the individual’s needs.

Supervised, or Semi-Independent, Living: this option also provides services to an individual who lives in an apartment or house (either alone or with others). In this option, services are more direct and intensive, up to 24 hours a day, if necessary. Functional life skills such as cooking, shopping, and managing money can be taught or supported by staff.

Group Home Living: a residential model in which several, unrelated individuals with disabilities live together in a facility where staff are present 24 hours per day. Individuals may participate in community activities and instruction on independent living skills.

Group Living/Ownership (Co‐op): a model similar to a group home, with the exception that the home is owned by a group of families that form a cooperative agreement. Caregivers to staff the home are hired by the cooperative.

Farmstead Communities: provide residential services for a number of people in the context of a working farm.

Assisted Living Facilities/Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF): these facilities provide direct assistance with personal care and daily activities such as dressing and bathing. Some of these programs may also provide medication assistance. Nursing homes may provide support services to those with more significant medical needs or the elderly.

Developmental Centers: large residential facilities located on a campus‐like setting where residents have intensive needs related to their disabilities. Many states no longer run large developmental centers, or are looking at options for more community-based residential settings.

More information about these housing options, as well as funding options and ways to find residential facilities, please read the Autism Speaks Housing and Residential Supports ToolKit: http://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/housing_tool_kit_web2.pdf .

More residential support information and resources are available here: http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/housing-and-residential-supports

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