When you are a parent of a child with an autism spectrum disorder, you worry about the child’s future as an adult. Will they be able to live on their own? What happens if a parent is no longer able to care for their adult child? Canadian psychologist Dr. Lillian Burke believes only 3% of adults with Asperger Syndrome are able to live independently with no support. With this statistic in mind, what services and supports need to be in place to make the transition from the parental home to independent living? Can independent living be an option?
One of the greatest fears a parent of a child with autism has is how and where will their child live when they are no longer able to take care of them. What will their adult lives look like? How will they spend their day? What does a meaningful life look like in adulthood?
I attended an excellent presentation this week given by Neil Walker of Kerry’s Place Autism Serivces (KPAS) located in Southern Ontario. Neil described the KPAS philosophy which I’d like to share with you because it has been a big part of the KPAS success story and positive outcomes for those with ASD. Their values could be adapted to any new organization wanting to provide services for adults or be the guiding principals of what parents should be looking for in order to ensure a high quality of life in adulthood.