Living situation of people on the spectrum

Living situation of people on the spectrum

The living situation of people on the spectrum in the United States and The Netherlands

The US
In the US the ‘National Housing and Residential Supports Survey conducted in the Summer of 2013, found that 84% of caregivers reported that the individual with autism is currently living at home. Furthemore: the average age of the individual cared for by the respondents was roughly 17 years old. 58% cared for someone under the age of 18 and only 4% reported caring for an individual over the age of 30. The remaining fell somewhere in between. 82% of the individuals cared for were male.

Regarding the living situation of people with autism in The Netherlands, only one moderately reliable resource is the survey of the membership of the Dutch Association for Autism (nva)
2275 members, mostly parents, took part. The following picture arises:

Living situation of participants in nva-survey 2008 % adults 23 yrs. and older % youth below 23 yrs.
With parents 29,6 94,0
With partner 18,0
Independent single 17,5
Facility for people with an intellectual disability 7,4 2,1
Assisted independent living 10,4 0,6
Psychiatric hospital 2,2 1,2
Foster-home 3,1 0,8
‘Workhome’: Living-working community for people with (severe and chronic) autism 3,4 0,1
Regional Institution for Sheltered living (RIBW) 3,3 0,3
Care farm 0,5 0,1
Assisted living on the initiative of  parents 1,2 0
Penitentiary institution or forensic clinic 0,5 0,1
Roaming existence (no steady place of living) 0,1 0
Other 2,7 0,6
Total 100% 100%
N=733 N=1538

The lack of reliable epidemiological and other quantitative data about autism is surprising and disconcerting but this survey represents the most comprehensive quantitative expression of this aspect of autism in The Netherlands, setting a benchmark in 2009 for no less an authority than the Dutch Health Council.  A significant drawback is the uncertainty as to how representative the NVA-membership is with respect to all people with a known Asd diagnosis.  Similarly, there is the question of whether survey participants represent an accurate sample of the total NVA-membership.


Extracted here on November 16, 2013.
NVA, Een plek om te leven. Een onderzoek naar de leefsituatie van mensen met autisme, Bilthoven, NVA, 2008. 
Dutch Health Council
Health Council of the Netherlands, Autism spectrum disorders: A lifetime of difference. The Hague, 2010. To be downloaded here.