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Phoenix, AZ: Apartments for ASD young adults; 500,000 more coming in next 10 yrs

Oct 31, 2018, Atlantic Monthly Group, CityLab: Autism-Friendly Apartments Open in Phoenix The 55-unit First Place complex was designed specifically for adults with autism and neurodiversities. Lindsey Eaton, 24, is from the Phoenix area and works for the Arizona School Boards Association. She has autism, which, she said, she doesn’t see as a diagnosis: “I see it as awesomeness.” Eaton describes herself as very independent, “but I still need help with some things like laundry, budgeting, and getting to work.” She used to live with her parents despite wanting to live on her own. In July, Eaton moved into one of the country’s first apartment complexes for adults with autism and neurodiversities. … First Place may be among the first of its kind, but the need for places like it is clear. Up to half a million teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will reach adulthood in the next decade, following a rise in diagnoses over the past 30 years. One study found that the vast majority of adults with ASD between the ages of 19 and 30 continue to live with their parents, an arrangement that becomes challenging as parents age. Many autistic adults face long waits for state-sponsored group housing and a lack of other options…. It’s a three-pronged operation. First, there’s the nonprofit-run, 55-unit apartment building, where people with ASD can live near-independently, but with 24/7 support. It has a fitness center, a pool, and a culinary teaching kitchen. Then there’s the on-site Transition Academy, which runs a two-year program to teach residents life and work skills. (While many residents are expected to go on living at First Place after completing the program, for others, Resnik said, “it might be the first place after leaving their family but [then] they may go elsewhere”). Finally, there’s a leadership institute aimed at producing research, policies, and training related to ASD…. Rent at First Place, which includes a basic suite of care services, is not cheap. It starts at $3,300 per resident in an unfurnished two-bedroom apartment, or $3,600 for a one-bedroom. …

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