Have you thought about where your child will live as an adult? Have you asked your child where he or she wants to live? Many parents and people with disabilities start to look at housing options during the transition from school to adult life. But you don’t have to wait.
Finding the perfect place to call home will take time. It will also take creativity. What works for one person may not work for another. Do you have an idea of what your child’s future home looks like? Does your child? One way to help your child is to start thinking and talking about this early. Here are some ideas to get started.
Explore the Options
There are several housing choices listed below to consider and decide which one would fit your child’s needs:
Learn about Support
Learn about the many types of supports available. We all rely on help in life. This should be no different for people with disabilities.
Government-funded long-term supports offer many choices. Here are a few but there are others as well.
Natural Supports are also helpful. Natural Supports can be a friend or neighbor, etc. They can also be an event or activity. The nice thing about natural supports is they expand your choices.
The Texas Housing Choice Voucher Section 8 Housing provides rental help for those who qualify.
Support Your Child’s Independence
One of the most important things you can do is to support your child’s independence. Some children need more help to learn certain skills. Make the most out of a teachable moment. Give your child chores around the house. Ask your child to tell you the name of his or her medicine. Let your child pick out his or her clothes. Ask your child for help in the kitchen. Have your child put a sticker on the calendar for an appointment. Some children will need more practice than others. Give them every chance to practice.
Deciding on a place to call home will take time. It may also take time to put your plan together. Expect that there may be hurdles along the way. Remain flexible. But don’t give up. Persistence will be needed to help pave the way for your child to live in a home of his or her choice.
Here is additional information about housing options and choices for young adults with disabilities.
Just when I thought maybe the “autism thing” was calming down. And that maybe I had a few months to catch my breath before researching everything I needed to know about guardianship before my son turns 18. Wham–another big change brought us back to reality.
Support is out there for families of individuals with disabilities–you just have to ask! Take advantage of the community of others who are going through the same things as your family.