Adults with autism and intellectual disabilities have a right to live independently like any other adult. The support they need varies by individual depending on the scope of their disability and their support network. Roughly 1% of the general population has an intellectual disability and 10% of those people have autism spectrum disorder or autistic traits. Care plans for individuals with disabilities called, Individual Support Plans (ISPs), are designed to meet their unique needs. They incorporate goals and objectives as well as participant milestones. Family members and primary caregivers reinforce the success of the ISP.
One of the most important components of the ISP is the assistance provided to these adults in seeking employment. As the rate of autism spectrum disorder continues to rise, there is a huge influx of individuals with ASD transitioning into adulthood. Research has shown that people with disabilities are frequently unemployed or underemployed. The National Organization on Disability (2010) survey revealed that 21% of Americans with disabilities were employed part or full-time and make up 3% of companies’ workforce. The high unemployment or underemployment rates for adults with ASD make them three times more likely to live poverty with annual incomes below $15,000.
Social skills, poor communication, and sensory issues contribute to the lack of job retention or successful employment. Many of those with ASD require the support of others and may not qualify for state and federally funded programs.
**Transitioning Adults for Independent Living**
A properly defined ISP rests on an understanding of the needs of the individual and providing the proper training, health care, and habilitative services to support their health, safety, community inclusion and full participation. A comprehensive ISP assesses six quality of life issues:
* Rights & Dignity
* Individual Control
* Community Membership
* Personal Goals & Accomplishments
* Personal Well-being (Health, Safety, & Economic Security)
The assessments take into consideration the individual’s life history, experiences, and social relationships with focus on their interests rather than deficits. Skill development allows the individual to reach certain goals including fulfilling and meaningful employment. Work provides psychological, mental health, quality of life and financial benefits thus reducing the societal costs associated with their support (an estimated $3.2 million per capita).
**The Plan Document**
The ISP involves the contribution from the individual’s support system (family members and guardians). They play a significant role in the individual’s daily life and are presumed at each stage of the process. Establishing relationships with family members or guardians allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the individual’s needs and assessments.
Although regulations require a two-year planning cycle, a review of the ISP’s progression to date is required annually. Daily activities of independent life are monitored, reinforced and encouraged from the participant. As participants respond to the ISP, modifications may be necessary to assist them in further development.
For the ISP to help participants achieve their goals and milestones; daily, documented communications are necessary with the care team. Any modifications are discussed with the individual, family members or guardians, and reporting accordingly.
Structured, standardized documentation can be achieved through Optonome. Optonome is a mobile, communications, training and administration platform that is built on the individual’s support plan and daily activities. Optonome’s LifeSkills 24/7 module provides:
* Beacon sensors placed throughout the home giving care receiver and care professionals in-location assistance based on the ISP
* Up to 100 life skills activities designed to equip participants with everything needed to live the most independent life they can safely handle
* An easy view of upcoming activities and the ability to upload text, pictures, video or audio at a moment’s notice.
Optonome includes a HIPPA compliant EHR for each user and tracks any type of data desired for documentation, analysis, and reporting.
Sign up at www.optonome.com (http://www.optonome.com/) or contact us today email@example.com (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a demonstration.