Understanding autism
Understanding autism

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Understanding autism

2.2 Support for independence

In some areas of the UK, independent living is facilitated by access to funded support. Some adults obtain direct funding for a part-time support worker to help with areas of daily living where they have difficulty, such as self-care or dealing with officialdom. Some NAS adult services are directed towards more able adults, including small social groups that aim to help with the continuing development of social skills. The success of such arrangements depends on the individual case. Melanie’s son Louis lives with his father, with frequent visits and input from Melanie herself, and support from other services:

Louis is on Direct Payments and pays helpers to take him out so this is good. The social worker changes every six or 12 months so there is no continuity and no help to get him moved into independent living. He finally has a local psychiatrist and is on heavy medication to calm him down. [My hope for the future is for Louis to be] independent and safe from eviction or life on the streets after I and his father die. He'll never work. I pray the welfare state will always exist to support him.

(Melanie, 2017, pers. comm.)

Alex lives at home while studying for a degree and working part-time, although he hopes to move into his own place eventually. In this clip he talks about his mentor and also the social group he attends:

Download this video clip.Video player: boc_aut_1_video_week7_2_alex.mp4
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Transcript

ILONA:
What about now, do you get any help or support?
ALEX:
Yeah. I see Mike for assist once every four weeks in my Reigate. I talk over any problems, so I use my NHS mental now. I've obviously got the Guilford Group transition going I was just telling you about. I go to that every two weeks and it's quite a big group, so I've met quite a lot of people there.
ILONA:
And what are the areas of your life where you feel you need to seek help from Mike or from the group?
ALEX:
It's normally like if, you know, if I've had an argument or something with my mum. I mean, they don't happen as often as they did, but you know, we're all human. Arguments are going to happen inevitably.
ILONA:
What do you find particularly helpful in the support that you get?
ALEX:
I think one thing with like Mike is, you know, I can speak to someone who's not a part of the situation. And I think having someone that's neutral just helps. You know, someone who's not directly involved with the situation.
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