Wednesday, September 5, 2018

My Dream: Assisted Living for Autistics

Image Credit: "Blue House With Flowers" by Andree Lisette Herz

You know what I'd love? An assisted living situation for people on the spectrum. For autistics of variable functioning levels, strengths and weaknesses. We'd help each other out, each person using their strength to make up for another's weakness. And for the ones who need a lot more help and/or cannot contribute, they'd be cared for by the others.

I'd like a place where flowers grow, but I'm not expected to water them. Where I can eat well without burning myself out from cooking and doing dishes. I'd do other things to make up for it, maybe by being an organizer or checking if the chore were done, or doing daily/weekly checkups on the other aspies/autistic people to ensure they're getting what they need.

I'd like a place where my strengths are valued and my weaknesses are accepted. A place where stimming and being our "weird" selves is totally normal. A place with soundproof walls and doors to allow as much privacy for each person as possible. A place with big rooms with everything a person could need, like a mini apartment with a kitchenette, a small living room, a bed--and be customizable based on the resident's needs and preferences. And definitely, absolutely, a place where we are valued as human beings and not seen as a defective charity case, but a PERSON deserving of a full life with equal parts support and personal growth.


  1. Hi Alyssa,

    I'd love a living arrangement like this too.

    This idea is something various autistic activists have wished for since the very beginning of the adult autistic community way back in the early 1990's. See, for example: . (See the last 2 paragraphs of the section titled "Autistic socializing".)

    How can this longterm vision become a reality? I'm not sure, but it seems to me that one prerequisite would be the formation of LOCAL in-person groups of autistic adults, e.g. local peer support groups and autistic-friendly social groups. An example of such a group is Aspies for Social Success, here in New York City. Even that group is only a beginning, in my opinion.

    We need to find ways to grow local autistic communities in as many locales as possible. That's hard, given our social and other challenges, but local organizations are essential to the progress of ANY marginalized group. More of us need to become aware of the many advantages -- social, political, and economic -- of having an organized local community.

    I notice that you do NOT have any such groups listed under "Offline Resources" on your "Asperger’s Resources & Online Groups" page on Facebook. Have you, or anyone you know, ever tried to create such a group in your local area?

    1. It's a coincidence that you mention that! I was just thinking about starting a group locally here in IL. I checked and the closest one to me is over an hour away, which is too far. I do need to add those groups to my list as well.

      I'm hoping to host it at a library or other building and request sensory friendly lighting, and see if I can get some stim toys just for the groups if I have the money.

    2. Would any of your local autistic friends be willing and able to help you start a group?

      Finding a room with "sensory friendly lighting" might well be the most difficult part, alas. Good luck with that!

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