Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Are there any group homes for adults on the autism spectrum?
Answer: You are in good company. Many parents of adults on the spectrum are supporting their adult child(ren) who are having problems launching into an independent life. You may want to call contact a social service agency in your city to find resources for assisted living for young adults. In Tucson, we have La Frontera, a community mental health agency. They have resources for indigent adults with mental illnesses that include group homes, counseling, and psychiatric services. Since many people on the autism spectrum have co-existing conditions like depression, anxiety, OCD, ADD, and Tourette’s, they often can qualify for services. The adult would have to qualify under La Frontera’s income guidelines. Contact them to learn more details: La Frontera Center, Inc, a nonprofit, community-based behavioral health agency, (520) 838-5600,
Question: What kind of job training is available for adults on the autism spectrum?
Answer: Within the Arizona Department of Economic Security there is an organization called Vocational Rehabilitation. Apply for help through that office. They will expect an official diagnosis from a qualified mental health professional and they require that you fall within their income guidelines for assistance. Also, there are a number of private organizations and individuals who do career counseling. You will find them under the heading of “Career Counseling” in the Yellow Pages and online. Additionally, there are a number of companies in Tucson that support disabled individuals. I understand that Frys Food and Drug Store, Jim Click Ford, and Century Theaters are among them. You may want to check with the Beacon Foundation also. Many people on the spectrum find that jobs in call centers work out for them and there are a number of them in Tucson.
Question: Where can I find a professional to diagnosis my adult child who is on the autism spectrum?
Answer: You can almost always find a neuropsychologist who is trained in the diagnosis of the autism spectrum disorders. A neuropsychologist may also know how to treat the special issues of autism and may know the resources in your area that would be of help to your adult-child. Look in the yellow pages or online for neuropsychologists. Many psychiatrists also diagnosis autism in adults.
Question: What entitlements are available for adults on the spectrum?
Answer: There are entitlements on the state and federal level. You may want to apply for Social Security Disability if you believe that you will not be able to support yourself on your own. Go to your local Social Security office and request an application. You may be able to download an application online. There is no guarantee that you will qualify but it is worth a try, especially if you suffer with depression, anxiety, OCD, ADD, or any other mental illness in conjunction with autism.
On the state level, you may also want to call your state department of economic security to learn whether there is a vocational rehabilitation program that would help you to find work or get training and education towards a career path.