Thursday, September 4, 2008

Housing Options for Autism Families

I enjoy watching House Hunters on HGTV, which airs nightly at 10 PM. Sometimes my 13 year old son Nicholas catches the show as well. We have dreams of moving out of this duplex house we have now rented for over ten years. I regularly peruse Cragislist, Westside Rentals and Mobile Home Village to check new listings.

We cannot live in an apartment or condo. That would mean four neighbors to deal with and having to endure listening to Matthew running across the rooms, banging walls and screaming. Amenities like pool, fireplace, deck, patio and french doors would have to be avoided.

I need to have parking, tired of the street hassles for a space near the house. An on-site laundry room or at least a hook-up would be necessary. Trying to deal with laundry during school holiday times and vacations are not easy. Due to my skin issues with my severe eczema it is essential that I get a dishwasher. Also the bathroom must have a window and fan vent. This will help when giving Matthew baths and starting the toilet training.

We also need a fenced yard and preferably central air conditioning. For many years now I have paid a rental fee to my landlord for the stove and refrigerator, probably paying for appliances two times during this period. I would like a shower that has the sliding door and a garbage disposal for the kitchen sink.

The neighbors next door have their grown sons living theere for many years. It is like a pot festival coming through my windows. Today when the bus arrived my front yard was a stench bucket from them. Earlier in the day our kitchen had smells from the other neighbor. My son Nicholas had problems with his eyes and throat.

I am tired of living at this dump, but there are not many options for us. I also want to try to buy a mobile home by the time I am 50, which is under two years. It is a long term goal that most likely will not get met, but a dream nonetheless.

Nicholas has a dream of living in his own apartment with his cat Junior and another companion animal. He wants to drive a truck and not get married or have kids. I am trying to teach him about finances and what a struggle it is to pay bills and have anything left over.

It would be nice someday to share a house with another autism family and have the street or community consist of families with kids who have special needs. Safety for everyone and living where neighbors know what your life is like and can offer support in many ways.


hellokittiemama said...

We have 6 or 7 kids in this neighborhood on the spectrum (a bunch are brothers/sisters). Most moved here because of the location and good schools but a few were born here.

The only thing I don't really like about where we live is that we are very close to a very major road here that gets a lot of traffic - makes me really nervous. Oh and because there are "clusters" here for autism/cancer etc it makes me really want to not have more kids even though there are days that I do want 1 more..

Cats said...

I hope you find a very nice and convenient new home soon ~ thanks so much for visiting my blog and educating me about the amazing Markhor ~ the way they move in that rugged terrain is simply incredible..

...wishing you all the best :)

Karla Akins said...

I agree. Neighbors don't get it. Mine are very snoopy and judgmental and it is just one more stress. I try very hard to ignore it, but it's hard some days.

Talair said...

One of our neighbors isn't exactly friendly, but he isn't a jerk to us. The people on the other side of us have warmed up over time - they're pretty cool. We used to live in a 2nd floor apartment, and the woman downstairs (who moved in after us) just made life miserable. I can relate to your concerns.

Good luck finding something!

Osh said...

thanks for stopping by!

I more than understand your housing concerns...for many years Evan and I lived in apartments and it was horrible, neighbors complained all the time about his tantrums/meltdowns...I couldn't afford a house...

I hope someday your wishes do come true!

Casdok said...

Thankfully i have been very lucky with our neighbors.
I hope something turns up for you.

Dorothy said...

Home can be the castle and the place you call safe harbor. How awful that you have to put up with neighbor kids who smoke pot.

I'm wishing and praying for you to have something wonderful happen so you can at last have your dreams...

Thanks for stopping by my blog....

Dorothy from grammology

Tanya Savko said...

It is so challenging to find good housing. I wish you success with your search!

Sandra said...

I hope you find a better home soon. A mobile home sounds feasible but I understand wanting it sooner rather than later. 10 years is long enough to rent.

Karen Kaye Beall said...

The Foundation for Autism Support & Training has a new initiative called ARCHway. Our website is and our social networking site is

On our website we have 60+ pages of content on developing a full menu of community housing options, finding/training staff, assistive technology for greater independence and much much more. This is a first of its kind site since it goes into a great deal of detail on this topic.

We just developed a public service announcement that is going out to 1200+ TV stations nationally. It stars film and TV star Annie Potts.

Annie Potts is the Public Spokesperson for ARCHway. In this video, Annie tells us that there is a severe housing shortage for adults with autism and suggests that ARCHway can offer real solutions. She invites you to join with us to Turn a Perfect Storm…into a More Perfect World for adults with autism who need community housing options and supports.

See our public service announcement on You Tube at the URL below:

Or go to You Tube and search on Autism Housing Annie Potts

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