Intensive Support • Life Changes • Goal 1:
Evaluate Your Housing Situation for Your Current Needs and Wants
Action step 1.
Reassess your living situation and needs.
As you age or become familiar with the network of housing and supports designed for autistic people, your housing and support needs may change. For example, you may notice that you need more or less assistance from caregivers, with increased or decreased frequency. You also might wish to pursue new goals or programming to support your daily living needs and wants.
Taking time to scan for these changes and to discuss them with your support network will prompt a clear conversation about ways that your housing and supports may be succeeding or failing at meeting your needs.
Words to know
Action step 2.
Select the housing option that best fits your needs now.
When looking for supportive housing offering intensive support, you may not have to search alone: Government agencies may connect you to ensure that you are housed.
However, an autistic person may need to advocate for himself or herself as a resident within that environment. When scanning for changes to your needs and wants, take the opportunity to consider how well communication is working between residents and managers, to ensure needs are met.
Action step 3.
Refine any housing modifications and your support network.
Whether you are making a move or remaining in your current home, your housing may need adjustments and adaptations over time. A person who needs support is entitled to have a home that meets their needs. Federal nondiscrimination laws require housing providers to make reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications for individuals with disabilities.
If you or a family member requires an accommodation to housing, discuss how best to raise this with a housing provider to find a tailored solution.
Your support network is vital to so many decisions. You will find that the network changes over time, too, so don’t hesitate to include only the people who best take care of you.
Words to know
Action step 4.
Adapt services and supports for current needs.
The range of services that can be available through state programs and federal HCBS waivers is very large. For that reason, most new essential services that you or a person with autism might need can lead to revising an HCBS enrollment. Applications for services take time to process.
Throughout your life, it remains vital that you receive updated advice about the services that match the needs. Your support network, including medical doctors, any caregivers and even a specialized needs planner can advise on this decision.
- From Autism Speaks, an overview of the funding and models for housing options
- From Medicaid.gov on how states and federal agencies provide HCBS resources
- From Medicaid.gov on federal HCBS waiver programs by state
- From Medicaid on Home and Community Based Services
- From a blog post by Kimberlee Rutan McCafferty, mother of an autistic son, describing the challenges of seeking adult services
- From a blog post on eligibility for autistic people to Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income