Thursday, February 25, 2010

Autistic adults pose challenge

I am frighted about how we are going to providing housing for people with ASD. So much so I chaired a committee looking into housing, and the crisis in CA. It is a crisis and I pray we find a way to meet the need. After you read this you will perhaps better understand my off color jokes about Nicky and I sharing a room in assisted living. It really isn't a joke at all, but a reality that we will all meet face to face.

Several of Arizona's leading real-estate groups have tackled a growing national housing problem in a new report, Opening Doors: A Discussion of Residential Options for Adults Living With Autism and Related Disorders.

During the next 15 years, more than 500,000 children with autism disorders will become adults. Now, most adults with autism live with their aging parents, who won't outlive their children. Autistic adults currently have few options for housing away from their families.

"The potential crisis in housing and services for this population is an issue not only for families and local communities, but for society as a whole," said Joe Blackbourn, a Valley developer and former board member of Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center.

The housing needs for the growing population of autistic adults must become part of a community's growth plans, according to research from the Urban Land Institute Arizona, SARRC, Arizona State University's Stardust Center for Affordable Homes & the Family, and the ASU Herberger Institute School of Architecture.

The Opening Doors study, released last week, looks at potential models for affordable homes and financing options needed to build projects for autistic adults.

Backers of the research are already scouting properties in metropolitan Phoenix that can be renovated into those residential models. These projects will help the ailing housing market by filling and converting abandoned properties and funneling money, including federal funds, toward construction projects.

The research was funded through grants by Urban Land Foundation, Pivotal Foundation and SARRC.

The housing portion of the research introduces builders, architects, developers, planners, public officials and others involved in residential development to the conditions of adults with autism that demand a new approach to the design and development of homes, said Sherry Ahrentzen, associate director of research at the Stardust Center.

Kim Steele, associate professor of landscape architecture at ASU's Herberger Institute, said the 10 resident-based design goals from the research range from neighborhood amenities to technology needed in homes for autistic adults.

Autistic adults pose challenge


  1. This is why we created Lettuce Work. We want our ASD kids to continue to receive the support and training they need after high school so they can lead independent lives after we are gone. We need to work together to meet the needs of this growing tidal wave of young ASD adults.

  2. Lettuce Work, you are so right! Thanks for posting.