Adults Living with Autism

A nurturing environment at home, and later at school and at work, helps a person with autism continue learning and developing throughout his or her life. However, the responsibility of public schools for providing services to people with the condition when they reach the age of 22.

In addition to employment, the family faces the challenge of finding living arrangements, programs, and facilities to match the special needs of their adult child. Here are some living arrangements for adults with autism.

Living at home

The government finances families that decide to have their adult child with autism live at home. Financial assistance programs include Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicaid waivers, Supplemental Security Income, and others. Check the Social Security Administration website for more information about these programs.

Independent living

Independent living is encouraged for adults with autism who can live on their own. Those who are able to live semi-independently are assisted by family or a professional agency in solving major problems like dealing with government agencies that cater to people with disabilities or dealing with personal finances.

Supervised group living

Many adults with autism live in apartments or group homes staffed by healthcare professionals who help them with their basic needs. These include personal care needs, meal preparation, and housekeeping. Higher functioning adults with the condition may live in an apartment or a home where professionals only visit several times weekly. These individuals prepare their own meals, do household chores, go to work, and engage in everyday activities on their own.

Skill-development homes and foster homes

Foster homes have been very helpful to many adults with autism. It is good to know that many families are willing to open their homes to unrelated people with autism and provide them long-term care. The living arrangement is called a "skill-development home" if the foster family teaches housekeeping skills and self-care and arranges leisure activities.

Institutions

While the trend in the past few decades has been to keep people with disabilities away from long-term-care institutions, this living arrangement is still recommended for adults with autism who need intensive and constant supervision.

Today’s facilities, unlike many long-term care institutions years back, view patients as people who have human needs. These institutions provide adults with autism with opportunities for simple but important work and for recreation.