There are many possible models for community living for an Adult with ASD, regardless of where they are on the spectrum. While some individuals may be able to live independently, hold a job and a mortgage, others may need more support. Independent living skills can be taught in much the same way as job skills, they can be broken down into tasks. Before thinking about moving out, it is important to really examine the types of supports that the adult may need to have in place in order to successfully live independently or semi-independently. Examples include: access to public transit, safety precautions in the living space, cooking skills etc.
In BC there are six types of residential services to choose from. Do the research and consultations to assess which one will best suit your families needs:
- Supported Living – Services are relatively minimal in nature, fostering an independent living vibe. Specific support needs are provided when relevant.
- Supervised Living (semi-independent) – More structured supports are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Life-skills are addressed and the individual may live alone or with others.
- Group Home Living – Individuals live together in a home and have assistance 24/7. Instruction focuses on living independently such as how to iron, or cook food.
- Group Living/ Ownership (Co-Op) – The place itself is owned co-operatively by those individuals who live there, but caregivers are still present to provide support. Like in the group home model, caregivers are hired by an agency contracted by the co-op.
- Teaching Family Model – Individuals or couples live in a family home with professional teaching parents who work to assist with family-style living support.
- Assisted Living/ Intermediate Care Facilities – Provide assistance with daily living routines such as hygiene and dressing. Some ICF programs will provide medication and help with reminding clients to take such medication.
It may be tricky to understand the differences between the above services. We always suggest you visit or call different providers so you can better understand what they can provide. Always do some research before choosing, so you can make a well-informed decision. Our information officers have experience with organizations in British Columbia. Contact us to learn more about options available in the province. Or you could connect with others in the community to see what works for them. Have a look at our community groups.