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Family Services Adult Services Office Hours - July

Leslie Long and Dave Kearon will held the Family Services monthly Adult Services Office Hours on July 12! The transcript below covers housing, employment, Medicaid and other questions about adults living with autism!


  Hello everyone! This is Leslie Long and Dave Kearon from Autism Speaks' Housing & Adult Services. Thank you for joining us! We will be beginning in 2 minutes...
  Ok, it's 6:00pm! We welcome your questions!
We hope you've all had some time to enjoy our Housing Portal, blogs, Homes of the Month, and resources Links to follow!
Comment From JacobOHare
What exactly is Housing & Adult services and what does it do?
  Hi Jacob, that's an excellent question! Housing & Residential Services and Supports mean different things to different people. THerefore, our initiative is aimed to provide information on all different housing options for adults with autism, and residential supports wherever they choose to live. So we have developed a tool kit to explain what Housing & Residential Services means, and hopefully that will simplifies the housing discussion. We have also developed a "portal" page that features homes and programs that have been developed, news items, our official Autism Speaks statement on the housing issues, and resources throughout the country.
  Here is the link to our Housing portal: /family-services/housing-and-residential-supports

From there, you can find our Housing Tool Kit, the catalog of resources, the Home of the Month feature, and the top news stories featuring adults with autism.
Comment From Melissa
What resources are available for parents who are looking to help their child become more independent before they reach adulthood?
  Hi Melissa, thank you for asking! Another one of Family Services' tool kits is dedicated to your child's Transition years in school, when they are still entitled to services from the school district - and it is really excellent. You can find it here and download for free:/family-services/tool-kits/transition-tool-kit
  We also recommend that you visit our Resource Library for more information and ideas:/family-services/resource-library
Comment From JacobOHare
How about for Adults with Autism/Asperger's?
  Thank you, Jacob. Could you tell me more about what you mean? Are you looking for a specific type of resource?
Comment From JacobOHare
For me, My parents are older and I have difficulties; Budgeting (Fighting of compulsive spending.), cleaning (reminding myself to clean), Socializing (But that's not in your area of scope.)
  Thanks for clarifying, Jacob. It's not uncommon for individuals with autism/Asperger Syndrome to need help with independent living skills, such as budgeting, cleaning, and socializing, as well as all of the other areas of life (including employment, college, etc.). We partner with many local resources that we can refer you to. There are many peer support groups as well as independent living programs in the community. Email us at, and we will help you find local resources in your area.
Comment From Henri-n-miami
just a quick question... do you know if there's some kind of financial services helping families with change of dieting ? like at the whole food, organic, dairy free, gluten free, rice/ almond milk, soy free products (and the list goes on and on)
  Hi Henri, thank you for your question! Health and wellness are so important, of course. We do have a Health & Wellness web portal where you can find information about fitness, nutrition, and sleep: /family-services/health-and-wellness

Was your question more about getting financial help to buy these kinds of healthy foods?
Comment From Henri-n-miami
is there a chat group that talks about food intolerance, allergic.
  Henri, we do not have chat group dedicated to this topic at this time, but I would recommend visiting the Global-Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership (GRASP). They have lots of support groups for people on the spectrum, and their family members, both online and in certain areas of the country. Check them out here:
Comment From Henri-n-miami
thanks for the link. yes I also wanted to know if you know any financial services to help buy these kinds of healthy foods
  Henri, usually social service programs in your local area can provide this kind of help. You can find your local office here:
Comment From John P.
Does your organization provide career counseling for adults looking for employment?
  Hi John, thank you for your question! Unfortunately, we do not provide direct career counseling, although we are very excited to be developing an Employment Tool Kit that will ready for distribution this Fall. In addition, we have an executive summary report of our Employment Think Tank that we held in June that will be coming out in the coming weeks. In the meantime, there are several agencies in all states that provide career counseling for individuals with autism. These include vocational rehabilitation, or if you are attending a post-secondary school or a vocational program which are also available. If you'd like more specific information about what is in your area of the country, please contact us by email ( Thanks!
Comment From Henri-n-miami
thanks again.
  You're very welcome, Henri! Thank you for joining us!
Comment From Abigail
Are there any conferences coming up that parents can attend?
  Hi Abigail, thanks for asking! In fact, we do have a really exciting conference coming up in August in Ohio. It is Autism Speaks' first National Conference for Families and Professionals! It is taking place on August 3rd & 4th. Find more information about the conference and how you can sign up here: 

Comment From Abigail
Oh wow, that sounds awesome! Are there any other national organizations or programs that are addressing issues for adults with autism? How can I get more involved?
  Abigail, we are a part of a national consortium of organizations dedicated to this population called Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA). You can visit that website here for updates on AFAA's activities and advocacy information:
  In addition, if you are interested in advocacy efforts, please visit Autism Speaks' Autism Votes website here:
  We'd like to take this moment to update you on some exciting initiatives that our department is developing. Coming in 2012 is, as mentioned before, an Employment Tool Kit, a curriculum for direct support professionals that work in residential settings, and a current request for proposals for a national market survey that will study and capture the housing needs of adults with autism throughout the country.
  We'd also like to let you know about a recent blog post on scientific findings about motivation and hard work among adults with autism. Please take a moment to read this informative blog:/blog/2012/07/10/autism-motivation-and-hard-work
Comment From Jake
Hi. I was wondering, is Autism Speaks submitting any public comments on the possible rule changes for what is considered "community based"?
  Hi Jake, thank you for your question. Yes, we did! Our comments have been submitted, and we are going to share them soon. Please check our blog section for a piece we are writing on this shortly: /blog
Comment From Jaimie
Do you have any help for people who are trying to prepare financially for their adult children for the future?
  Hello Jaimie, thanks for asking! You can find information about the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act on about the idea of tax-exempt accounts to save for disability-related expenses. There is also some very helpful information in our Housing Tool Kit about financial planning, conservatorship, and other means of preparing your family financially. You can find the tool kit here:/sites/default/files/housing_tool_kit_web2.pdf
  Well, it's 7:01pm. We are out of time! Thank you everyone for your participation! Thank you for being a part of our Adult Services Office Hours. We welcome your suggestions/comments for how we can better serve you here. Thanks again!


The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.