When it’s time for your autistic child to live independently
Let’s face it, you’ve done the hard yards. Harder than most parents. You’ve loved, supported, protected and encouraged your autistic child for his/her whole life, however the time has come where you need to seek alternate accommodation for your son or daughter.
It’s a difficult decision to make for your family, and there will be varying factors that have led to you making that decision. It may be that you are coming to a stage in your life where you feel that you can no longer support your child in the way s/he needs. Perhaps you are aging or have a medical concern or you want to travel and do things that you’ve not been able to do before. Perhaps there are behaviour concerns and it is no longer viable to have your child living under the same roof. Whatever the reason, it is not an easy conclusion to come to.
You know you will always be there for your child, in one way or another, it’s just that you won’t be living in the same house anymore. No matter what, they will always need your support, love and guidance, but now they can live independently with support from other care givers as well.
If you have an NDIS plan for your child, you may be able to use some of the funding in the plan to help provide supported accommodation. A Support Coordinator can assist you with this process. If you don’t have funding in your current plan, when it comes time to review your plan you can speak to your planner regarding accommodation and supported living and ask them to factor it into your next plan.
The accommodation you seek will be different depending on the needs of your child. It may be that they could live fairly independently with in-home supports each day. Or they may need 24-hour supports. There are many options available in this day and age and you are sure to eventually find the accommodation that is right for your son or daughter.
Most parents will experience some sort of grief when the time comes to make this decision. However, once you find the right place and your child settles in and makes friends with their new roommates, or neighbours, you’ll be relieved that they are happy. They can now live independently, with supports. You too can go on with your life without the routine that you have lived with for so many years.
You can call each other, visit as often as you like, but you can both be independent and have a life of your own. It’s not going to be easy. In fact, it may be the hardest decision you’ve ever had to make, but it may also be the best decision you’ve ever made.
If you would like to look into Supported Independent Living (SIL), Supported Disability Accommodation (SDA) or a housing solution for your son or daughter, either short-term or long-term speak with your Support Coordinator, NDIS Planner or Local Area Coordinator.
SASI Guest Parent Blogger
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