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Adult Life Planning - Housing

As with all other aspects of Asperger Syndrome, the more the person with AS understands him or herself and his or her needs in the context of AS, the more successful the housing experience will be. People have found a variety of creative solutions to make housing work for them. It’s important for people with AS to choose housing that will support their sensory, social and environmental needs.

Many adults with AS need a designated space where they can be alone and fully in control, and their choice of housing should fulfill this need. It should be comfortable and quiet – a haven from a busy, demanding world.

Some housing choices include:

  • Living independently
  • Living with housemates
  • Living with parents and family
  • Living with partner and/or children

Living Independently for single adults

Many adults with AS are capable of living independently without supports.

Others can live independently with minimal supports for tasks such as paying bills, keeping the house clean, or general organization.

Although adults with Asperger Syndrome can be very bright, it is reasonable to expect that they may need some assistance in order to maintain their independence.

Social service agencies that serve adults with disabilities may be able to provide these services. Usually it is necessary to pay out of pocket, although this may vary from state to state. Some people may prefer to hire someone privately.

Isolation can be an issue for Adults with AS who live on their own. It is a good idea to plan for some structured social occasions in your schedule. This might include get-togethers with colleagues from work, classmates, membership in hobby clubs, or participation in religious or social activities.

Living with a housemate(s)

Living with a housemate or two can pose different challenges. It is extremely important to communicate verbally or with written notes or emails. Making assumptions about division of labor and responsibility within a household will likely result in misunderstandings that could have been avoided with up-front communication. It may be a good idea to schedule a particular time to meet with housemates and discuss issues related to the living situation.

If you are in a communal living situation, remember to make sure you have a place to yourself where you can be alone and in control.

Living with Parents and Family

Often it makes the most financial or practical sense for an adult with AS to continue to live with their parents or other family members. It can be helpful to have this support while pursuing other, more independent goals, such as school or employment. In this case, we suggest that the adult with AS share responsibility for household chores, especially if they are preparing to live independently.

Even in one’s own home, it often helps to carve out your own space where you can have privacy and quiet.

Living with Partners and/or Children

Many adults live with partners and/or children. See Partners page for issues particular to this kind of relationship.

Public and Private Supported Housing Options

Public Housing Programs

Public housing is available in all states and includes both subsidized housing through housing authorities and Section 8 housing, a federal voucher program run by the states which may offer the most flexibility in terms of choosing your own apartment.

For information on affordable housing in Massachusetts visit:
http://www.chapa.org/index.htm

For General Section 8 information visit: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/mfh/progdesc/disab811.cfm
For local information contact your local housing authorities.

Private Housing Programs

Supported Housing Options are sometimes available through local social service agencies that work with adults with disabilities.

Some adults with AS may live in housing managed by an agency working with adults with disabilities. Housing may range from group homes (not highly recommended for AS adults) to shared or non-shared apartments.

A wide range of independent living supports are available through these social service agencies, depending on level of need and ability to pay.

Creative Living Options

Many people have found their own unique solution for their housing and living needs including:

  • Communities with a shared sense of purpose
  • Mutually beneficial partnerships with exchange of room and board for services such as house-sitting, yard work, companion care or pet sitting.

Think creatively when thinking about housing!