Once you have applied for housing, you have an indeterminate time period of anywhere from 3-12 years. This is not idle time. This is the time to build critical living skills.
Only about 40% of adults with autism will meet criteria for either Personal Care Attendant services, Adult Foster Care, Shared Living, or a group home. The balance will need to rely on their own skill set; free services provided by friends, families, and neighbors; and services paid for out of pocket.
Skills can be divided into four groups:
- Skills you have mastered and use regularly;
- Skills you are able to learn, but have not yet mastered or use regularly;
- Skills you will always need help with; and
- Skills that will always need to be done for you.
While you are waiting for housing, you have two goals:
- Move as many skills as possible from group 2 to group 1; and
- Create systems and supports to help with groups 3 and 4, and PRACTICE them.
Once you reach the top of a housing list, you should only need to generalize skills, systems, and supports to the new setting.
How do you get started? Consider using the modified Adolescent Autonomy Checklist and check out these posts and pages on our website:
Independent Living Skills, the horse that pulls the housing cart