Whether an adult with ASD continues to live at home or moves out into the community is determined in large part by his/her ability to manage everyday tasks with little or no supervision. For example, can he/she handle housework, cooking, shopping, and bill paying? Is he/she able to use public transportation? Many families prefer to start with some supportive living arrangement and move towards increased independence.
Supervised group homes usually serve several individuals with disabilities. They are typically located in residential neighborhoods in an average family home. The homes are staffed by trained professionals who assist residents based on the person's level of need. Usually, the residents have a job that takes them away from home during the day.
A supervised apartment may be suitable for individuals who prefer to live with fewer people, but still require some supervision and assistance. There is usually no daily supervision, but someone comes by several times a week. The residents are responsible for getting to work, preparing meals, personal care and housekeeping needs. A supervised apartment setting is a good transition to independent living.
Independent living means just that - individuals live in their own apartments or houses and require little, if any, support services from outside agencies. Services may be limited to helping with complex problem-solving issues rather than day-to-day living skills. For instance, some individuals may need assistance with managing money or handling government bureaucracies. It is also important for those living independently to have a "buddy" who lives nearby that can be contacted for support. Support systems within the community might include bus drivers, waitresses, or coworkers.
Many people think of adulthood in terms of getting a job and living in a particular area, but having friends and a sense of belonging in a community are also important. Individuals with ASD may need assistance in encouraging friendships and structuring time for special interests. Many of the support systems developed in the early years may continue to be useful.
Last updated: 31 January 2008
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