Living independently and autonomously are considered by many people to be important for wellbeing and leading a good life. In Australia, moving out of the family home to live in a household on one’s own, without any ongoing formal care, is traditionally considered to be one of the markers of living an independent adult life.
To date, there is no Australian-based research reporting on the views and experiences of Autistic adults who have moved out or want to move out of home. Likewise, there is a lack of research about what parents/carers perceive as obstacles to the moving out process, or what might help ease the transition to independent living. There are currently no formal supports or services available in Australia to enable Autistic adults to move out of the family home to live in a place of their own.
What do Autistic adults and their parents think could make it easier or more difficult for Autistic adults to move out of the family home to live independently? What services and supports could help Autistic adults to live independently in a place of their own?
Autistic adults and parents of Autistic adults, who have moved out of home or want to move out were invited to participate in a short online survey and express their interest to be interviewed.A total of 37 participants completed the online survey:
• 28 Autistic adults
• 9 parents of Autistic adults.
Eleven Autistic adults participated in follow-up interviews and shared their experiences of moving out of home and living independently
What we learnt
A place of my own full report 2022
Making a difference
This study found that living independently is important to Autistic people, however they require supports including:
• assistance in developing everyday living skills
• sourcing and selecting appropriate accommodation
• support to manage the organisational requirements of living independently.
Early diagnosis and provision of services or resources that can assist Autistic people and their families to navigate the processes associated with moving out of the family home would be beneficial. This could include:
• a checklist of the necessary logistical and administrative tasks and factors to consider when choosing a place to stay or a flatmate
• a service that provides Autistic people and their families with general guidance regarding the moving out process.
The findings from this study will inform autism service provider practices to help Autistic adults in Australia who want to move out of their parent’s home and live independently.
Vicki Gibbs, National Manager, ARCAP
Dr Mustafa Al Ansari, Postdoctoral Researcher, ARCAP
Emma Gallagher, Autistic Consultant, Research and Practice, ARCAP
Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)