Research Of Housing For Adults/Teens With Autism In Ontario

The Government of Ontario offers many services that provide proper housing for people which have a variety of circumstances that requires them to look for housing. This may include homelessness, adults/teens with autism, foster care homes, women who are in need of refuge due to domestic violence, people who have come to Canada looking for refuge due to certain conditions in their countries etc. While my partner and I were researching the variety of housing that is provided by the government and other agencies, we found a substantial amount of information on each agency. However we decided to focus our attention on housing for adults/teens with autism.

There are three main types of housing provided by the government on Ontario. These include: Custodial Housing, Supportive Housing, and Supported Housing. Custodial housing consists of 24hr supervision, basic assistance with daily tasks and self care, and Medication supervision. Custodial house is essentially one on one attention. Supportive housing is focused more on integrating the community. Personal support is provided by staff members which is usually arranged through group homes but can also be offered in low-support self-contained apartments. So too, Supported Housing is focused on community integration, housing and support services are provided by outside services, and usually consists of independent apartment or housing co- operatives.

We also found many websites that provide help and support to families that are dealing with similar circumstance at no cost, they provide Housing and Residential Support tool kits. While we were researching housing for adults/teens with autism, although we found many positive supports of Ontario housing, we also found many negative aspects which include financial burdens, and long waiting lists which can cause a heavy burden to the families/guardians especially as the family grows older. After the age of 18, provincial support falls off and families are left struggling to find and pay for care themselves. Some families in Ontario are provided with up to $35, 000 a year which may sound like more than enough, but by doing more research we found that to get support can cost up to $9, 000 a month and up to $90, 000 a year for private group homes. To make matters heavier the government of Ontario does not look at outside group homes, leaving families who cannot afford the financial burden, with no other option than admitting their children to mental health hospital when it is not needed. Ontario offers about 18, 000 spaces in publicly funded group homes for adults but more than 6, 000 people are currently on waiting lists. Matters are becoming so desperate that families are declaring their children homeless in order to access services.

Although Ontario is approximately giving 42, 000 adults ministry funded developmental services, many families have a lot of trouble accessing these funds I never understood how immense the problem is of housing that families have to endure everyday. Reading and listening to families cry for help, made me realize that this is a problem that is not spoken about enough. We are at a point in time where our generation and the generations to come are speaking out about problems that are usually kept hushed. For example, the me too movement, or the sit with me anti bullying organization, and equal rights for all movement, consist of problems that society did not want to talk about because they did not want to admit that there is an actual problem. Aspects of my life that I would usually take for granted like my living situation, or the fact that I can go on vacation when I am able to, or even something as simple as going out on a date, I now realize are privileges, privileges that everyone should have the access to. However due to the underlying problem of housing for adults/teens with autism not everyone can enjoy these ‘privileges’ of life, specially the families who have this problem. While doing more research for this assignment, I stumbled on a story that I would have never heard about if not for the research. Andie Robinson had taken her life after giving her son Robert whom had autism a lethal dose of anti-anxiety medication. After this tragic and heartbreaking event the corner’s jury made many recommendations to prevent similar tragedies.

I believe that change should occur before any tragic event has to take place. Nonetheless change is occurring due to a tragic story like this one. As Angie’s sister Michelle said “We cant bring Angie and Robert back but their death do not have to be in vain’’. I heard a quote once that says we should be the change the world needs, meaning if we want the world to change we should start with making the changes ourselves. The government of Ontario has come a long way but it still has a long way to go, and we need to make the change we want.

29 April 2020
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