People with autism face many challenges in life, but one of the most critical problems they experience is difficulty finding a place to live. This guide will walk you through some resources and advice that may help.
Living alone as a woman is not always easy. But there are resources available for people with autism that can help you live independently.
It’s a typical rite of passage for teenagers. Children grow up and eventually leave the family home.
Unfortunately, this approach is only followed by a tiny percentage of persons with autism. According to studies, only approximately 17% of adults with autism aged 21 to 25 have ever lived alone.
For some people with autism, living alone is not the best option. To be happy and healthy, some people need the continual assistance of family members and caretakers.
However, just because there aren’t many individuals with autism who live alone doesn’t imply it’s impossible. Independent living is not only doable, but also optimal for some persons with autism with a little forethought.
People with autism, according to campaigners, desire what most middle-class families have. They want a job, a place to live, and enough money to enjoy a few indulgences. Part of that vision is living alone.
How to Find the Right Home: The Basics
You must first establish the location of your new house before packing your first box. There are several alternatives available. You’ll have to limit down your options until you discover the ideal location.
Making fundamental considerations about where you wish to live is recommended by Autism Speaks. Consider your perfect scenario:
Neighborhood. Do you like to live in the city? Are you in the city, or do you live in the suburbs?
This is a house. Do you prefer a single-family home or would an apartment suit you better?
The degree of assistance. Do you think you’re ready to live without any outside assistance? Or do you need personnel who are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
There’s no shame in asking for help. Many persons with autism live in assisted living homes after they leave their family home, according to the Autism Society. They eventually move into their own houses as they get more comfortable.
Choose from the following options:
Group houses that are supervised. Rent a room at a home in a middle-class area. Live in a community with other people who have autism and get support from skilled specialists. Support is given 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in certain homes.
Living under strict supervision. Rent an apartment in a building designed specifically for autistic persons. This is a fantastic choice for folks who need assistance but not on a regular basis.
Living on your own. Find your own place to live, but enlist the aid of community services as required.
Some persons with autism live freely in their own houses, with no outside assistance. If you’re not quite ready yet, check at aided learning approaches to assist you. Use sites like the Autism Housing Network to locate acceptable housing options in your area.
Look for autism-specific apartments if you’re ready to live independently but require a few adjustments. Developers modify houses, such as installing additional soundproofing panels and employing support personnel for residents, so you may live independently while still receiving the assistance you need.
Assemble Your Home Like a Professional
You may choose your own house and work as an interior designer. Every day, make decisions about how your house looks, feels, and supports you.
Look through your rental agreement before you begin if you rent your house. Landlords may prohibit tenants from:
Walls, floors, and ceilings may all be painted.
In windows, there are lights hanging from the ceiling or air conditioners.
Carpet installation or removal.
Making holes in the walls.
Check with your landlord to see whether your ideas are acceptable. If you’re unsure, ask first.
Begin once the details have been accepted. This is your space, and you’re free to express yourself anyway you choose. Add colors that make you feel safe and comfortable, and use artwork, cushions, plants, and other items to show your individuality.
Arrange your furnishings to suit your lifestyle, and make any necessary adjustments for bad days. Create a designated area for seated activities, such as dining and studying, and keep it clutter-free. Put breakable or delicate goods on high shelves so you won’t be tempted to chuck or break them out of frustration.
When you were a kid, your parents most certainly implemented home safety improvements. If those methods continue to work for you, try replicating them at home. Request assistance from your parents in adapting such approaches to your new location.
Attend to Day-to-Day Tasks
You’re ready to settle into your new life now that your new house has been leased and your changes have been completed. However, you must include many of the activities you performed while living with your parents into your new schedule.
Some individuals, according to Autism Speaks, benefit from regular life skills regimens. Yours could resemble morning checklists that you can use to ensure you don’t forget anything crucial. Make a list of chores such as:
Wear shorts, a t-shirt, and running shoes.
Run for 30 minutes on the treadmill.
Put your exercise clothing in the washing machine.
Shower for 15 minutes with hot water and soap.
Dry the towel by hanging it up.
Put on some clothes.
Breakfast should consist of bread, cereal, and fruit.
Take your medicine as directed.
Make a sandwich, fill a thermos with juice, and pack the sandwich and thermos in your bag.
Work is a must.
Use the same strategy to manage your nighttime rituals, but make separate lists for weekends and vacations.
Some jobs are completed on a weekly (rather than daily) basis, but they are as vital. If you live alone, for example, you must handle your finances. Begin by making a budget.
According to the National Autistic Society, a budget may assist you:
Keep a running tally of how much you spend.
Spend no more money than you have.
Determine if you can afford what you want.
Pay off your debts.
Spend less money.
Start with a training module from the National Autistic Society if you’re not sure how to make a budget and don’t want to contact your parents or counselors for assistance. You’ll learn how to utilize a cash machine and deal with debt, among other things. You may also receive budget spreadsheets that you can print.
You must also keep track of your prescriptions. That is to say:
Each week, set aside time to review your meds. When you need to, make orders and prepare for the next week.
Clear pillboxes labelled with the days of the week are recommended by experts. Once you’ve filled them, you’ll take tablets from them when the time comes. To remain on track, add this item to your once-weekly calendar.
Your house should also be kept neat and tidy. Some individuals deal with their problems by cleaning every day. They, for example, wash dishes as soon as they get soiled. They put the clothing they worn that day in the washing machine.
Others, on the other hand, clean once a week, usually on a day when they don’t have any job or treatment sessions. If you use this strategy, you will be able to clean every room in your house at the same time.
You might even employ someone to assist you in your endeavor. While you are at work, the housekeeper cleans your home, and you return home to a spotless environment.
Other Resources to Assist You in Your Planning
It takes a lot of effort to find and maintain a house. Keep in mind that you are not on your own. If you have any concerns about how to locate and set up your house properly, ask your parents, physicians, and therapists for assistance.
Use other materials as well, such as:
Workbooks are available online. To assist you in planning, use resources such as this one from the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration. Fill out the worksheets to determine whether living alone is good for you, and learn more about the resources available to help you do so.
Therapy that is specific to the patient. You can acquire daily living skills like budgeting and self-care even if they don’t come easily to you. Therapists may create programs that break down difficult activities into smaller, more manageable phases.
Chapters of Autism Speaks may be found in your area. Find out where other individuals with autism live in your neighborhood and how they love their surroundings. These local chapters could also be able to provide you with information about supportive homes in your region.
Never forget that others are eager to assist you in taking the measures that are best for you. People are eager to assist. Make contact with them and let them know what you need.
Living alone and being single can be tough for people with autism. Luckily, there are resources available to help them find housing. Reference: single and living alone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is living alone too lonely?
Can a person live alone and be happy?
A: This is a question that I am not qualified to answer.
What do single people who live alone do?
A: Single people who live alone do a lot of things, including work and shopping. They also spend time with friends and family as well as going on dates.
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Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.