Autism After Age 21
Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can live, work, learn and play in their community when given the proper supports. Easterseals works with adults with ASD across the lifespan, encouraging them to find meaningful employment and live independent lives after leaving the school system.
Finding a Job
For adults with ASD, finding a job is a critical first step toward self-determination and financial independence. Through our Employment Services Program (link to Employment Services page), Easterseals professionals help people with ASD:
- assess their skills
- identify employment goals
- create training to meet personal goals
Day Programs for Graduates Who Remain at Home
Easterseals day programs are designed for people with autism whose primary needs are for socialization, recreation and community involvement. While people with ASD participating in day programs might need some supervision, they need only minimal assistance with activities of daily living (eating, dressing, walking, etc.). Read more about Easterseals’ adult day services.
Moving Away from Home
Adults with ASD have many choices when it comes to living away from home. The primary goal of Easterseals’ in-home services is to assist you and your loved one as they strive to stay in the community in a living arrangement of their choice:
- Independent Living
Involves persons with ASD living in their own apartment or house with little, if any, support services. Support services may be limited to such areas as complex problem-solving, money management, or budgeting. This option is best suited for persons with appropriate daily living and social skills.
Supported Living. When persons with ASD are not quite ready to live independently but are able to care for the majority of their own needs, supported living is an option. Supported living usually involves a case manager or support worker assisting the individual with certain areas of self-care or social planning. Individuals in this situation typically have their own apartments but may share living space or live in the same building as other individuals with similar needs. Often, people in supported living are developing skills to move to independent living.
- Supervised Group Living
Group homes are facilities that serve several individuals with disabilities. These homes are usually located in residential areas and have the physical appearance of the average family home. Professional staff assists the residents with daily living and social activities based on individual needs. If possible, it may be advisable to find group homes that specialize in providing service to persons with ASD. The staff in these homes are more likely to be trained specifically to the unique needs associated with ASD.
- Adult Foster Care
In adult foster care, individuals live in a home with a family. Unlike foster care for children, adult foster care is intended to be as permanent as possible. Families usually receive government money to support individuals with ASD in their home. They are not necessarily trained or expected to teach independent living skills.
- In-home Services
Many adults with ASD live at home or with a friend or family member. In cases where additional care and support is needed, many people prefer to receive services in the comfort of their home. In-home services may include a companion, homemaking/housekeeping, therapy and health services or personal care.
- Respite Care
Some individuals with ASD remain in their parents’ home far into their adult years. Sometimes families receive respite care support where a professional comes to the home and provides support services to allow the parents to partake in their own recreational or social activities.
Adults with ASD can be active participants in all areas of community life including social and recreational activities. Easterseals programs may include weekends away, evenings out and other opportunities to participate in recreational activities throughout the year. With more than 100 camping, recreation, and respite programs, Easterseals offers thousands of individuals with ASD the chance to develop lasting friendships and learn what they can do, no matter what their age. Participants enjoy adventures and conquer new physical challenges, and some camps also offer sessions exclusively for campers living with ASD.
Outliving the Parents
Easterseals partners with health and human service organizations as well as public and private insurers to provide life-changing services and support for children and adults living with ASD and other disabilities and special needs and for their families. Learn more about Easterseals corporate partner Mass Mutual’s SpecialCare Program and LifeBridge Free Insurance Plan