Do you have a child, teen or young adult who needs placement in a group home for autism and you are wondering how to find one near you? Whether your son or daughter has autism, severe autism, high functioning autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Asperger Syndrome (AS), or Rett Syndrome, here is information about how to find the best housing options and residential placements available.
- Group Homes for Autism, High Functioning Autism, and Community Supported Living – Adults and Children
- Housing Choices for Autistic People
- How to Find Group Homes for Autism Near Me
- What is the Cost of a Group Home for Autism?
- How to Know if A Child with Autism Needs a Group Home
- How to Know if a Young Adult with Autism Needs a Group Home
- Questions to Ask When Visiting a Group Home
- Resources for Group Homes and Housing Placements for Autistic People
Group Homes for Autism, High Functioning Autism, and Community Supported Living – Adults and Children
Are you considering a group home or residential placement for an autistic child or adult? Each situation is unique but here are some factors to keep in mind.
Housing for Adults with ASD or High Functioning Autism
For adults with high-functioning autism and ASD, moving into a group home or independent living can be an exciting time of transition. Of course there are mixed emotions for both the autistic person and their parents or family members, but for many this is a positive step toward independence for everyone involved.
Housing for Adults with Severe Autism
For adults with severe autism, they will be less aware of the choices involved in their placement so family members will need to move forward with what they feel are the best options. Still, it’s important to keep the autistic person involved in all conversations and keep their best interests in mind.
Choices of placement need to consider needs such as 24/7 supervision, nursing and medical care.
Residential Placements for Children with Severe Autism
When a child needs to live outside the home environment, this is usually done because the behaviors are too much to handle in a family situation and naturally the process is much more emotionally difficult.
If you are seeking a group home or residential care for your severely autistic child, know that you are not alone. Other parents have walked this road, too. You have not done anything wrong as a parent, and the wellbeing and needs of the whole family need to be considered when making the decision.
While it might feel like placing your child in a group home is a step backward, remember that if your child’s needs are too much for you to handle in a home situation, your child will ultimately be safer and happier in a situation where they can be supervised and managed in a way that keeps them safe and helps them live up to their full potential.
Housing Choices for Autistic People
There are many housing options and placement choices available for both autistic children and adults.
Here are some of the possible residential placements to consider for autistic people:
- Stay at home with family. Over half of autistic people live with family members. This is a safe and reliable living situation that doesn’t require a transition.
- Adult foster care. Adult foster care is a situation where an autistic individual lives with a foster family in a similar way to a child who is in foster care. Financial compensation can be available through Medicaid, Medicare, or SSI (Social Security Income) or SSDI (Social Security Disability Income).
- Institutions. Some autistic children and adults live in residential placement settings where support services are provided by staff instead of family members. These placements pay be locked and people living there are supervised at all times for their safety and the safety of others. State funding can be available to cover costs. Ideally the goal is for most autistic people to live within the community when possible.
- Group homes. Group homes are small facilities in a community setting where groups of unrelated people live together in a home setting. Staff is available to care for the resident’s needs on a 24/7 basis. Group homes are run and supervised by agencies. Funding is available through state support, insurance, Medicare, and SSI and SSDI. Private pay group home options are also available.
- Cooperative Living (Co-ops). “Co-ops” are similar to group homes, except the house itself is owned by a group of families or individuals who have formed a cooperative agreement. The group hires an agency or independent caregivers to support the residents within the home. If you are considering setting up a co-op, be sure to consult an attorney.
- Supervised Living. Supervised living can be similar to a group home where individuals who are not related live together in a home-type setting. However, with supervised living there is more independence. Staff includes support providers who supervise tasks such as cooking, cleaning grocery shopping and community activities.
- Supported Living. Supported living is for adults who can live in an apartment or room independently, but still need assistance with tasks such as cleaning, shopping, or budgeting. Funding may come from personal income and public benefits.
- Independent Living. Many autistic adults are able to live independently. Family and community supports are available for specific tasks, such as money management. Funding for housing may come from income, housing vouchers, or public benefits.
How to Find Group Homes for Autism Near Me
Are you looking for group homes near you that accept autistic children, teens, or adults?
Use this listing to search by zipcode for group homes near you.
See our listing of resources below for other search options. Other ways to find group homes are to ask case managers, doctors, and the Department of Human Services in our county.
What is the Cost of a Group Home for Autism?
According to NeuroBrilliant Magazine, the cost of living in a group home averages between $65,000-$120,000 annually. This covers the entire cost of the individual living in the facility, including food, utilities, and the payment to the caregivers who help the residence daily.
Group homes are funded by a number of sources including parent income, the individual’s income, SSI, SSDI and other government programs.
How to Know if A Child with Autism Needs a Group Home
Most autistic children are able to live at home with their parents and family members.
Some children have needs that are severe and require a residential placement. In these cases, an institutional setting may be more appropriate than a group home. This might be a scary though, but remember that many residential settings use a cottage or housing structure so that children are group together in homes in order to facilitate an environment that is as close to a home setting as possible.
How to Know if a Young Adult with Autism Needs a Group Home
The decision to for a young adult to move into a group home is one that takes careful consideration for both the autistic individual and their family. There is no one path to housing, but instead explore ways to manage this life transition from a positive frame of mind.
Some factors to consider for group home placement can include:
- What are the person’s desires? (Type of home, type of community setting, desire for roomates)
- Does the person need support for every task, a few tasks, or just once in awhile?
- What are the transportation needs?
- How will healthcare be managed?
- What is available for recreation, employment, volunteering, and friendships?
- How will money be managed?
No matter the situation, focus on the individual and his or her strengths, needs, challenges and preferences.
Consider using a Community-Based Skills Assessment (CSA) which will help determine the eight areas of functional life skills.
Questions to Ask When Visiting a Group Home
Here is a list of questions to consider asking when exploring group home options:
- Who are the staff or caregivers in the home? What is their role?
- Do you like the home and yard? What are bedrooms like?
- What are other residents like? Are they friendly and do they seem content and comfortable?
- Does the home seem comfortable to you?
- How clean is the residence?
- Do the residency have privacy?
- What are the house policies and visiting hours?
- Are pets, smoking, or alcohol allowed?
- Are personal religious practices supported?
- Are bedrooms private or shared?
- Can you bring your own furniture and personal items?
- How much storage space will you have?
- Is the home handicap accessible?
- Is transportation available?
- How are meals prepared and what food is available?
- What is the cost? Is there a contract?
For more, download this free adult care home checklist to guide your decision-making process and click here for more questions to ask when visiting a group home (as written by an autistic adult).
Resources for Group Homes and Housing Placements for Autistic People
Autism Speaks Housing Toolkit – Download this free resource that explains residential care homes, group homes, and how to cover the cost of special needs housing.
Austism Housing Network – This website provides an in-depth and helpful listing of available options in each state.
Residential Care for Children – Autism, ASD, and Intellectual Disability (ID) – This listing includes residential care facilities in the United States for autistic children.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to finding housing for autistic children and adults, many options are available to help you location a situation that is best for your family.
Are you searching for a group home? Share about it in the comments below.