Part of the transition process for parents of young adults with autism is the realization that they might not be able to look after their son or daughter with autism due to their own aging or some type of illness. Also, the young adult may be high functioning and feel that they are ready to leave the nest and make their way into independent living accommodations. Whatever the reality is, at some point in time parents need to be researching an appropriate living accommodation for their young adult. Some young adults might be independent enough to be able to have a roommate and live in an apartment situation. Others might be more comfortable in a group home. Presently in the USA there are many interesting newer models out there for young adults with autism and with their parents they can be exploring all possibilities. There are group homes, supported living, supervised living, farmstead programs and community living options, family teaching models, cooperatives, shared housing, and other residential models. Further explanation on these various types of housing accommodations can be found here.
There are also some new state of the art and upcoming housing models such as Sweetwater Spectrum which is the first housing community for young adults with autism with an organic garden, a greenhouse and a hot tub. Sweetwater is built to minimize unnecessary sensory stimulation, has ample size rooms and is constructed with healthy non toxic building materials including lightening, heating and ventilation. Many communities all over the US are currently concerned about the extraordinarily high numbers of young adults with autism who are and will be transitioning into adulthood and will need eventual living accommodations. The housing for autism focus should be on providing safe, appropriate, and comfortable living arrangements, as well as meeting the needs of all young adults with autism who are transitioning into the adult world.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Description: This is a program from the Office of the Administration for Children and Families to assist families with energy costs and keep them safe.
Interactive Autism Network
Description: This site links the autism community and researchers together. Stay informed with IAN.
Autism Housing Network
Description: This site is a platform for creating housing options, sharing housing opportunities, and advocating for housing choices. AHN is working on a housing directory, video and other features to improve the housing network.
Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center of Seattle
Description: Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center was created to help meet the important needs of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other developmental disabilities as they age out of the education system. The Burnett Adult Life Center hosts year-round classes for adults age 18 or older. Our classes promote lifelong learning, enhance quality of life and provide meaningful ways to take part in the community.
Training and Outreach
Description: This site provides services for families that are considering housing for adults with autism.
Description: This site has information on residential options, service systems, and planning for the future for your special needs child. In addition to the pages describing the numerous consideration in planning for your child’s future, there is also a page of forms that include worksheets, check lists and other helpful information.
Some forums require you to sign in to Yahoo or Facebook to locate forum names.
Forum/Blog Name: The Autism Blog
Description: Parent blog portraying the “ideal autism community.”
Forum/Blog Name: Autism Housing Network
Description: This forum includes help in housing development, network questions, social/micro enterprising and tips to be shared.
Forum/Blog Name: Federal Government and Housing for Autism
Description: The Federal Government's quiet war against adults with autism. How a new government policy threatens to dismantle autism friendly programs and housing.
Forum/Blog Name: Life After Out of Home Placement
Description: These are interviews with families who experienced an Out of Home placement with their child and the life following their decision.
Forum/Blog Name: Autism Housing Pathways
Description: This housing site provides information about group housing issues. The second link provides group discussion on youth and adult residential options for autism.