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Autism Spectrum Disorders in Adults

Autism Spectrum Disorders in Adults: Living Arrangements

Living arrangements for adults with autism spectrum disorders can include:
  • Independent living
  • Living at home
  • Foster homes and skill-development homes
  • Supervised group living
  • Institutions.
Independent Living
Some adults with autism spectrum disorder are able to live entirely on their own. Others can live semi-independently in their own home or apartment if they have assistance with solving major problems, such as personal finances or dealing with the government agencies that provide services to persons with disabilities. This assistance can be provided by family, a professional agency, or another type of provider.
Living at Home
Government funds are available for families that choose to have their adult child
with autism spectrum disorder live at home. These programs include:
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • Medicaid waivers
  • Other programs.
Information about these programs is available from the Social Security Administration (SSA). An appointment with a local SSA office is a good first step to take in understanding the programs for which the young adult is eligible.
Foster Homes and Skill-Development Homes
Some families open their homes to provide long-term care to unrelated adults with autism spectrum disorder. If the home teaches self-care and housekeeping skills and arranges leisure activities, it is called a "skill-development" home.
Supervised Group Living
Adults with autism spectrum disorder frequently live in group homes or apartments staffed by professionals who help the individuals with basic needs. These often include:
  • Meal preparation
  • Housekeeping
  • Personal care needs.
Higher functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder may be able to live in a home or apartment where staff only visit a few times a week. These persons generally prepare their own meals, go to work, and conduct other daily activities on their own.
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