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Welcome to a blog written by an autistic adult woman in her late 30's using words and images to advocate acceptance as well as awareness of those with life-limiting sensory processing disorder and resulting social and behavioral challenges.Thank you for visiting.

Friday, November 11, 2016


I'm not waiting for Christmas.

I compiled a wish list regarding housing that takes into account the special need of the ASD individual with life-limiting sensory processing disorder (SPD).

First, I state why living in an "anything goes" neighborhood (where most people live) is unhealthy and unsafe.

   -Randomness; lack of routine and predictability as faced in most typical living environments.
-         Chance for harm: victimization due to natural gullibility (lack of “street smarts”).
-         Lack of adequate transportation due to not being able to drive a car or tolerate the sensory overload of public transportation.
-         Staying inside, isolated from the community due to auditory and visual sensory overload.
-         High blood pressure due to pervasive environmental stressors like traffic, dogs, and children playing. and underlying depression that paves the way for other health problems like heart disease, hypertension, depression and suicide (not to mention worsening of related diagnoses such as OCD).
-         More reliance on Rx medication to combat anxiety and depression arising from a random, “one size fits all” sensory environment.

What I envision:
An assisted-living model facility for those with ASD with SPD in medical need of a low-sensory environment.
-Subsidized (at least a majority of them) so that those who don’t have rich parents can have a clean and safe place to live, covered by disability (SSDI) and any supplemental money they earn from employment (for those who can be employed). Section 8 or Section 42.
       Individual apartments for 1 person ( without children). This would not be a place for those wanting to raise families.  
        Transportation: service at little or no cost to residents.
-         Community room for residents to visit with and recreate with one another. that is sensory friendly. Appropriate lighting and sensory accommodating electronics.
-         No olfactory distractions like cigarette smoke. 
-Auditory sensitive friendly: Not a facility for individual dog ownership as their barks carry painfully loud,causing auditory distress. This would also prevent biting and messes. 

Therapy dogs could visit in a community room. 
Anyone who didn't want to be in the room could remain in their apartment during these visits.

- Exercise: Simple and accessible exercise equipment (treadmill, exercise bike, hand-weights)

-      Nutrition:   Green space outside for residents to form a community project such as a fresh garden to eat healthy.

-         On site case management, crisis management and counseling.

-          Employment opportunities: (for those who can work). This would include working from home.

-A place for worship (clergy from any faith could visit and hold services)

Those with autism and accompanying sensory processing disorder that make everyday life unlivable if not for special accommodations and supports will struggle long after this recession has ended. They won’t be able to have a place to live apart from their parents, work, or connect with others-something most take for granted.

Taking what I have written into account, I can personally say that I could be an asset to my community if such a place as previously described actually existed. The economy would benefit from whatever education and job-placement I would receive via an occupational therapist. I would benefit from being able to meet, make, and maintain friends in a low sensory environment.

Finally, parents could meet their Maker knowing their adult children are safe. Both can enjoy, worry free, the time they have left together. I wish I could say that was the case for my mom and me during her final months.
I should also say that this environment would be inclusive to the community. Residents with visitors of all ages would be welcome (providing they did not create an unreasonable disturbance to residents).

 Check out this link to see how a place for transitional housing is taking shape. It is a start. http://firstplaceaz.org/

I have touched the "tip of the iceberg". There is much more adults with ASD facing similar challenges can add. I hope this will encourage someone to do just that in their own blog post. Please share this post if it interested you. I don't see this topic being addressed enough.