Most parents become empty nesters at some point, when their kids grow up and move out on their own. But when a child has special needs, there’s a chance that time will never come. That doesn’t mean parents can’t give young adults with disabilities more independence. With some thoughtful modifications, it’s possible to turn your home into a multigenerational space that provides adult children the opportunity to do more for themselves, while keeping them under the same roof.
The Social Security Administration defines an adult child with a disability as someone who was disabled from birth or before age 22. This can include intellectual disabilities such as Down syndrome and autism, physical disabilities like cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, or myriad other conditions. Each adult child has a unique set of needs and abilities, but for the overwhelming majority, their diagnosis makes living independently difficult. Nearly 70 percent of adult children with disabilities continue to live under the care of their family, according to a recent Easter seals study.
As young people with disabilities transition to adulthood, families need tailored solutions that balance their need for independence with their ongoing care and safety. A blueprint (both literal and figurative) for your child’s future home may look very different from the house your child lives in today. Whether your home is big or small, your wallet is thick or slim, this guide will cover thoughtful living solutions for you and your loved one.
Please note: This guide offers comprehensive solutions for families who care for young adults with special needs; however, it shouldn’t replace the advice of a doctor or other medical professionals, such as an occupational therapist or builder/contractor.
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