Since there is a spectrum that diagnoses the severity of Autism we must acknowledge that not all people who are diagnosed with this neurodevelopmental disorder require the same amount of help and intervention. Those who score high on the spectrum, High Functioning Autism (HFA), are very capable of being active and productive members in their communities. This means that the deficits associated with HFA’s are not debilitating allowing (S)he to provide for themselves through employment with little to no intervention. On the other end of the spectrum there is Low Functioning Autism (LFA) were the symptoms are much more perceptible. LFA’s suffer from cognitive impairments which may include, “impaired social communication or interactions, bizarre behavior and of social or emotional reciprocity.” (Powers, 1989) Diagnosed with either of the two or in between warrants the individual access to certain forms of resources offered by the government.
Texas currently has implemented several aids, referred to as waivers, that are meant to help adults with autism. Texas community Living Assistance and Support Services, Texas Home Living program and Texas home and community-based services. Within these three programs a person with Autism or family member can find several resources. Such amenities include, residential support, case management, supported employment, prescription medications, dental and physical therapy to list a few. Through these aids a person afflicted with the Autism may have access to assisted living whether being in their own homes or the family home. (L&M Policy Research 2014). Keeping persons on the spectrum in a mental institution was a common occurrence in the 1950’s and 1960’s being that little was known about the disorder. Now, there are better options for housing such as group homes and supervised apartments. Group homes provide assisted living for adults with autism, within this home there are caretakers around the clock ensuring good quality living for its residents. Staff in these homes help its residents learn how to care for themselves and their home. They are taught how to clean the living space, keep clean clothes and maintain good hygiene. Majority of the residents can keep jobs and maintain a healthy active lifestyle in supervised group outings.
For those who require less supervision than a group home provides there is Supervised Apartments. Unlike a group home that may house up to eight people at one time with a full staff, supervised apartment houses two individuals. Although still under supervision it is not as constant, a counselor or case manager stops by once or twice a week to check on the living situation. For those who are able there is supported employment, a real job with monetary compensation for the individual. Through supported employment the individual can work at a real job site doing real work but must have a “job coach” present until (s)he becomes adapted to the workplace. LFA people acquire different services that better suit their needs within these waivers. These may include speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy as well as behavioral therapy. Services may be obtained through local authorities within the state of Texas, although most adults come into these services through the school system when they were first diagnosed.