All Articles Housing for Adults with Autism The day an individual moves out of their parents’ household is one of the most memorable and exciting milestones. However, it can also be rather frightening. For someone living with autism, taking this life-altering step often presents unique challenges. At the Adult Autism Center, we help adults with autism prepare for the future and find assisted living. Learn More About Our Programs Preparing Adults to Live More Independently If your loved one has autism, you’re well aware that each individual is incredibly unique — not just in terms of their personality, interests, and skills, but also in regards to the level of support they require. An individual who has been diagnosed with level 1 autism will require less substantial support in comparison to someone diagnosed with level 3 autism. That is why it’s important to make a list of the potential “new” skills that an adult with autism will need to live successfully on their own — and what level of support they require in relation to these skills. For example: Managing their finances in order to pay for bills, utilities, rent, food, etc. Managing their schedule so that they are able to successfully attend work or school. This includes knowing when to go to bed. After all, sleep issues are the most common co-occurring conditions experienced by individuals with autism. Eating right, which requires them to create shopping lists and obtain groceries, purchase foods, and prepare meals. Maintaining proper hygiene. Tending to the household, completing the types of chores required to maintain a household. In some cases, adults with autism adjust very well and are more than capable of living on their own. In other cases, new skills will need to be learned and practiced. For some individuals, they will always require some level of support. Questions To Ask Your Loved One Before They Move Out Also, be sure to consider the unique needs, interests, and preferences for your loved one. For example: Do you want a dog or cat where you live? Is having your own bathroom important to you? Are you comfortable living in a home with the opposite sex? Do you want an area where you can cook? These considerations are one of the most important aspects of an individual’s housing plan, as they experience and journey towards independence, they should be as individualized and unique as they are. Housing Options for Adults with Autism Before you begin hunting for a residence, it’s important to know what type of area you want your loved one to live in, as well as what type of home or living arrangement they desire. Some individuals prefer to live in an urban area, while others thrive in a more rural setting. The key here is to select a neighborhood or area that meets the expectations for you and your loved one, and then seek a type of household, choosing from options such as: A single-family home A townhouse An apartment that has a common area for residents Multi-family attached home Assisted living facility Residence in a planned community Group homes for adults with autism are often a great stepping stone, particularly for those who require a significant amount of support. In this case, an individual with autism will live in a home with several unrelated individuals, all of whom have a disability. Onsite staff will typically be present 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Staff members often focus on helping residents build independent living skills and encourage them to participate in community activities. Autism Housing Assistance at the Adult Autism Center of Lifetime Learning The autism community is full of incredible people, willing to offer their time, knowledge, and support. At the Adult Autism Center of Lifetime Learning, we have developed a center that is the first of its kind. Providing hands-on training, with a core focus on vocational skills and daily living, we help adults with autism reach their highest potential. Learn More About Social Skills Activities for Adults with Autism In addition to helping adults with autism find assisted living for themselves, our services and programs cover everything from fitness education to culinary skills, home living to social and leisure skills. This helps those living with autism to better prepare for the future, as they work towards independence. These programs will help individuals learn and strengthen new skills so that they are able to work towards the type of housing arrangement they most desire. Our goal is to help adults with autism achieve their goals so that they can experience the highest possible quality of life. Additional Housing Resources The following resources are intended to support your loved ones as you embark on this exciting journey. This list is in no way inclusive, which is why you should also seek the assistance of any local groups or organizations that you have worked with in the past. As you continue to plan for the future, remain mindful of the following resources: The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) — This non-profit organization helps communities create permanent housing. National Association of Residential Providers for Adults with Autism (NARPAA) — This organization works to assure the availability of residential and other supports for individuals with autism. Autism Housing Network — This organization brings together the best ideas in housing for adults with autism and other intellectual/developmental disabilities. Hello Housing — This organization develops affordable housing for underserved communities. Autism Speaks — Being the largest advocacy organization in the United States, Autism Speaks offers a wide range of resources, including a housing and residential supports tool kit. For those who reside in Utah, the Adult Autism Center Of Lifetime Learning is available to answer your questions about housing for adults with autism, in addition to providing ongoing education and support. Learn more about our programs today! Learn More About Our Programs Julia Hood, Ph.D., LP, BCBA-D, NCSPJulia Hood, Ph.D., BCBA-D is the Director of the Adult Autism Center of Lifetime Learning, the first center in Utah to provide individualized services for autistic adults. Here, she uses her rich background in psychology to empower clients. Julia has guided the Carmen B. Pingree Center, the center for assisting kids and adolescence, through critical stages of growth, including developing its architectural layout and clinical programs. Under her leadership, the center has also established local partnerships that allow clients to contribute to society. In the future, Julia envisions building more adult autism centers, as well as providing group home residential services. Julia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Westminster College, and a Masters and Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Utah.