It's time for David to transition from living with family (me) to having his own home, possibly with roommates. So, with my support, he's interviewing the "Supported Living Services" agencies, as well as potential support staff. We're also touring apartments, and, as David is dependent upon SSI to pay his bills, he's completing paperwork for "Section 8" housing.
So, this is a busy time for David! I have accompanied him to lots of
interviews with apartment managers, as well as taking tours of potential
apartments. He did a super job of describing his needs to these housing
professionals. Then, we wrapped up the day with a dinnertime interview
with a potential "support staff".
Here is where a lot of ignorance exists for families of children, teens, and young adults, with an understandable attitude of "Gee, we've got so much on our plate to deal with right now with K-12 education, etc! Let's put off planning for adult living situations until later".
However, delay is a bad decision because the triangle of low income (SSI-dependency), limited housing options, and the need for support staff is such a great challenge for families of disabled people to plan for, it's very, very important that early on, they start planning for the time of transition. It's never too soon to plan finances, and to start saving!! Here is a link to the California Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS) website regarding "SLS" (Supported Living Services):
Please share this website with friends who have family members with autism or other another developmental disability.
Another resource to share is the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD):
So, you might be asking "What does Mary mean by support staff"?
These are the social workers who provide care for adults with aide-dependent developmental disabilities, so that they can live independently and participate fully in their communities. They provide support in whatever form the developmentally disabled people need it-- life skill coaching, transportation assistance, reminders of what to wear, do, or bring with them while in the community, and above all, protective supervision to prevent danger and injury.
This is what I do for David now. Soon, this is what will be provided by David's new staff so that, like his friends his age, he can live with a roommate in his own home. Wow! An exciting transition. We'll keep you posted!
Thanks for reading, and please feel free to contact me if you've got questions, or would like referrals-- anything!