Some Support • First Decisions • Goal 1:
Evaluate Your Housing Situation for Your Current Needs and Wants
Action step 1.
Assess your housing situation.
As an adult, maybe completing education or training, employment or a new life chapter, you may move to a new location. You will face decisions about what style of living best fits your own needs and wishes. Now’s the time to ask:
- Is there a specific neighborhood, town, or even state you'd like to live? You may want to be near your family and friends, health care provider, a job or school, or where you can enjoy your favorite activities.
- What housing arrangements give you a balance of independence and support?
- What is your housing budget?
- What life skills might you need to develop for the various options? (i.e. living on your own will require more independent living skills than living in a group home)
- From the Autism Speaks Housing and Residential Support Tool Kit on starting the search and planning needs
- From A Place In The World, a housing market overview and discussion of accessible and inclusive housing
- From Understood.org Housing Options for Young Adults with Learning Disabilities
- From the Center for Autism Research: Where to live? The options for autistic adults
Action step 2.
Assess your individual needs and wants.
Thinking about how your housing environment fits your needs is known as a scan. You may find it helpful to scan the outside, entrance, inside, surrounding neighborhood and how you move around where you live.
It is important to assess your needs, such as the help you might need with certain tasks. It is also important to look at how the environment fits your wishes, such as the type of independence or amount of social contact you are looking for.
Whether you live alone, with roommates, or continue to live with family or caregivers, scan your housing environment to help you to identify any areas where you seek more independence or more support.
Words to know
Action step 3.
Select the housing option that best fits your needs and wants.
Once you have a good sense of your wants and needs, you can explore the various housing options that might be available to you. Some will provide you with full independence, while other options will provide some degree of support for residents, as needed. Accessible and inclusive housing may be available in your area. Our Resource Guide can assist your search.
Wherever you choose to live, federal nondiscrimination laws require housing providers to make reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications for individuals with disabilities.
If you require an accommodation to your housing, discuss with your support network how best to raise this with your housing provider.
Words to know
Action step 4.
Learn about HCBS.
Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) are in-home and community assistance for people with autism, provided by state and local government and connected organizations. The federal HCBS waiver is a Medicaid program that helps states to provide assistance with services like day-to-day health and personal care, transportation, skill development, and other means to help support you and your caregiver.
Take some time to learn about HCBS and see if these services are something you might need, depending on the supports you require. If you decide based on your needs and wants that the various HCBS services are right you, you should apply as soon as possible. You should expect applications to take time to process.
Your support network, including your medical doctors and any caregivers can advise and support you in this decision.