As millions of children on the autism spectrum in the US are growing up, their parents are faced with a daunting challenge – few housing options exist and the gap is growing by at least 50,000 units/year. Where will they live? How will they get support?
Madison House Autism Foundation and Purple Cherry Architects hosted Spectrum of Possibilities: Decreasing Barriers – Increasing Options on May 1 with experts from across the nation at Johns Hopkins University School of Education -Montgomery County Campus in Rockville, MD. Many organizations were there to join the conversation about how to develop practical solutions and create workable, livable, and affordable housing for autistic adults.
Here are links of participating organizations:
According to JaLynn Prince, President of Madison House Autism Foundation, the vast majority of adults with autism will live at home, often in isolation, until their parents die or can no longer care for them. “It doesn’t have to be this way,” she explains. “Our goal for this conference was to walk away with a clear action plan addressing policy at state and federal levels, aimed at reducing barriers and increasing flexible, appropriate housing options.”
Cathy Purple Cherry, Principal of Purposeful Architecture /Purple Cherry Architects, noted “There are many innovative models being developed across the nation to offer these individuals choices in housing that best suits their needs and desires. Our goal is to change federal and state policies to allow individuals to use their funding in any of these housing options.”
Using the Autism Housing Network (AHN) – an online community that will be launched in the next few weeks – participants will build on the best ideas and continue work together in a meaningful way.
Purposeful Architecture® is a studio within Purple Cherry Architects committed to creating spaces that foster thoughtful learning and living environments and inspire creativity and individuality in our children and adults with special needs. For more information, visit www.purposefularchitecture.com.
Madison House Autism Foundation is a public 501 c 3 non-profit organization working to eliminate barriers and increase opportunities for the rapidly growing numbers of adults with autism. Its immediate priority is to address the near total lack of flexible housing options for autistics and its programs and philosophy are based on the belief that sustainable, replicable solutions must engage all sectors including public and private sectors, non-profits, families and advocates. For more information or to volunteer, visit www.madisonhouseautism.org .
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