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Living Arrangements

Living ArrangementsSome people on the autism spectrum will eventually live independently as adults but not all. Some will continue to need significant help. Even those living independently may still require some degree of support.

In the U.S., parents and siblings provide the majority of long-term care for adults on the autism spectrum who are unable to live independently.

Our Approach

Our research explores the living arrangements of people on the autism spectrum. We’re looking at how many people live in different types of situations (group homes, independent living, living with family, etc.) and how satisfied they are with their current arrangement.

Our Key Questions

How many young adults live independently (away from parents without supervision) in the early years after high school?

Where do people want to live? What help do they need to be successful in their desired arrangement?

What services do parents who are supporting their adult children currently have? What types of help do they need?

How does where people live affect their ability to work? How does it affect their social and community engagement?

Our Key Findings

This is what we’ve discovered from our work so far:

  • One in five young adults on the autism spectrum ever lived independently (away from parents without supervision) between high school and their early 20s. (NAIR, 2015)
  • Most young adults (87%)  lived with their parents at some point between high school and their early 20s - a far higher percentage than in the general population of young adults. (NAIR, 2015) 
  • Young adults on the autism spectrum are least likely to ever have lived independently after high school compared to their peers with other types of disabilities. (NAIR, 2015)
  • More of those who were white, with better conversational skills and functional abilities, and who had higher household income, ever lived independently. (Anderson, 2014)