– Residential Options –
Lifelong Residential Options for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disabilities and Other Developmental Disabilities
As parents learn about housing options for their developmentally disabled adult children, they will sometimes wonder if there are additional or alternative situations to those that are accessed through their local social service agencies. Indeed, throughout the country, there are many private pay residential programs for developmentally disabled adults, with varying price points, and some, with the potential for public funding.
The staff at Next Steps has visited dozens of such residential opportunities throughout the country, and they can utilize their knowledge base and their careful evaluation of your child’s needs to assist you in selecting a residential option that would be a good fit.
And while their physical offices are located in New York, they are available nationally and internationally for telephone and secure videoconference consultation.
The following are some of the issues that are considered when Next Steps explores options with your family:
- Location (proximity to family): Is the housing located anywhere near key family members, or is it located near a part of the country in which a key family member might retire?
- Location (urban, suburban, rural): Will your son or daughter be integrated into a thriving urban or suburban community, or will they be living in a pastoral setting, with low stimulation?
- Profile (age range, gender breakdown, etc.) of the current residential population: Will your son or daughter feel comfortable and fit in with the current residents in the program?
- Supports: Will the program that oversees the housing be able to provide the kinds of supports that your son or daughter might need? These can range from minimal support (perhaps simply having a 24/7 phone number to call in case an urgent matter arises) to major support (assistance with the basic activities of daily living, such as bathing and toileting.) Sometimes the supports needed involve emotional and behavioral supports, such as when an individual might need assistance with the management of aggressive behavior or the impulse to elope.
- Socialization: Some individuals like to isolate, and enjoy a self-contained existence, while others prefer an active social life. What sorts of activities, amenities and opportunities to socialize might be available? How does the program that oversees the housing address an individual’s tendency to isolate?
- Education: Will the program teach life skills or academic skills? Will there by transportation training?
- Employment: Will there be opportunities for employment, either on the site of the program’s housing complex, or in the community? How will the employment be supported? Is there job coaching and job development?
- Residential staffing: If your son or daughter lives in a group home, will they be living with a real family, or will the support staff be paraprofessionals?
- Accesss to medical and adjunctive therapies: How much access is there to primary care physicians, mental health professionals, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, etc.?
- Provisions for aging: Will your son or daughter be able to age in place, or will they need to transition to another program once they need skilled nursing care?
- Cost: How much will the housing cost, and will your son or daughter be able to utilize some sort of public funding, especially if they don’t currently have residency in the state in which the housing is located?
The staff at Next Steps is prepared to help you sort through these issues as you try to find a residence that meets your son’s or daughter’s needs.