A discussion of housing and future living arrangements can be a difficult discussion for a lot of parents of children with disabilities. Where to even begin can in and of itself be daunting and overwhelming. As with other aspects of special needs planning, it is always better to have a good plan today than a perfect plan tomorrow. The following interview is about my own family’s plan to make sure our daughter has a place to call home and that she receives the supports that she’ll need. ~Claudia


Autism Now   A Parent’s Perspective: Housing

Claudia Pringles is an attorney with a focus area in special needs law. She is an active volunteer and has a passion for advocating for individuals with developmental disabilities. She is a Co-Chair of the Vermont Autism Task Force, a board member of the Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) and a council member of the Vermont Statewide Independent Living Council.  Ms. Pringles and her family live in Montpelier, Vermont. She is the proud parent of two daughters, including a daughter on the autism spectrum.

In this interview, she shares her family’s experience with choosing a suitable living arrangement for her daughter and offers tips to other parents who are interested in exploring housing options.

  1. At what point did you start thinking about housing options for your child?

My practice area is in special needs planning and helping clients plan for the future is what I do every day. I find that many of my clients struggle with the housing issue in particular and I’ve heard the same from friends who are parents of adult children with disabilities. I began thinking about the housing issue for my own daughter, Katarina, when she was about ten years old. She is now 14.

  1. What types of things did you take into consideration when looking at the different options?

My daughter’s own home: A typical housing arrangement in my state (Vermont) is for a developmentally disabled adult to live with a foster family in the foster family’s home. A main caregiver would receive payment for their services from the state and also be able to collect rent from the disabled person. For us, it was more important for our daughter to live in her own home and have caregivers come and live with her, even if it would mean a periodic change in staffing.

– See more at: http://autismnow.org/blog/a-parents-perspective-housing