When the word autism comes in mind, we usually think of it as a childhood disorder. But we tend to forget a growing number of adults living with the condition. Unlike a normal adult, they live with various complexities which need to be addressed properly. With the knowledge and learning skills to handle them, we can ease their lives.
April 2 was observed as the World Autism Day. Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon said on the eve of the World Autism Awareness Day 2013, “This international attention is essential to address stigma, lack of awareness and inadequate support structures. Now is the time to work for a more inclusive society, highlight the talents of affected people and ensure opportunities for them to realize their potential.”
There are several ways that can be explored to help them to live without much difficulty. Some tips are mentioned below.
Supervised group living
Persons with disabilities frequently live in group homes staffed by professionals who help the individuals with basic needs like meal preparation, housekeeping and personal care needs. Higher functioning persons may be able to live in a home or apartment where staff only visits a few times a week. These persons generally prepare their own meals, go to work, and conduct other daily activities on their own.
Day treatment model
Day treatment is designed to provide individualised services to adults with Autism who have intensive needs. Clinical staffing includes registered nurses, psychologists, speech, occupational and physical therapists.
The purpose of day habilitation is to increase independence, productivity and integration for the adult with autism, using a setting away from the home with activities including: personal grooming (bathing, showering, shaving, using toilet), housekeeping, food preparation, money skills (money awareness, banking, budgeting), shopping, social skills, leisure time skills, and traffic safety.
Day training and sheltered workshops
Day training and sheltered workshop programmes will assist in developing skills and habits to improve their personal, social, educational, and pre-vocational functioning to the fullest extent of their abilities.
This programme provides meaningful work for wages in community settings for adults with Autism who need long-term supports before starting or restarting unassisted competitive employment. The person must be engaged in a full or part-time schedule for at least 15 hours per week. The work setting must provide frequent social integration with non-disabled co-workers who are not paid caregivers.