Thursday, July 31, 2008

Adult Autism Residential Care

One of, if not the least, discussed autism topics is the issue of residential care for autistic adults. It is more difficult to talk about some of the negative realities that await autistic persons, particularly those who are severely autistic or low functioning, those who will not be able to care for themselves or live independently. Even mentioning the need for secure residential care for those autistic persons who require 24/7 supervision can bring ridiculous allegations of "writing off autistics".

It is refreshing to see news of someone actually doing something positive to address the residential care needs of autistic adults. In International expert opens specialist home for people with autism Caring Business reports on a a new residential home for autistic adults in Rotherham in the UK. The home was opened by Dr Olga Bogdashina who is reported to have done extensive research into sensory-perceptual and communication problems in people with autistic spectrum disorders.

Dr Bogdashina stressed the importance of providing support throughout their life – not just when they are young. ‘All too often, people with autism receive support during childhood, but when they mature and reach adulthood, they are forgotten,’ she said. ‘We have to remember that autistic children grow up. That is why it is essential to have facilities like Rother Heights – so they can receive the necessary care and support they still need in adult life.’

Rother Heights can accommodate 24 residents in four bungalows, which are designed with the personal needs of each resident in mind. The interior of each bungalow is decorated to stimulate the senses and includes coloured inset lighting, tactile and durable furniture and furnishings and unique architecture. The centre also includes a number of safety features, such as remotely controlled light and water supplies and Perspex window coverings. The home is run by Autism Care (UK) Limited, part of the Maria Mallaband Care Group.

There is a glaring need for adult autism facilities like the Rotherham center in many jurisdictions. New Brunswick has absolutely NO autism specific residential care facilities. Examples like the Rotherham center are helpful reminders of the options that could be put in place if we care enough and have the will to provide a decent life for our more severely autistic adults.


Suzanne said...

Thanks for bringing this to the fore. You bring up a lot of good topics. I don't even know where my child will end up or what she has the potential to do in life. I don't know what she's going to be like in 20 years time. That inability to predict her skills and abilities is daunting-- I don't know if she'll be independent or not.

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