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LIFE PLANNING Foundation for Autism Support and Training

What is in a Life Plan for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

A life plan for an adult on the autism spectrum is a critical document developed on an ongoing basis that details a comprehensive plan for your loved one’s life. A Life Plan should include a parent’s specific wishes and desires for their adult child’s future living arrangements throughout the lifespan.

The information in a Life Plan is then used by people who subsequently care for the adult with autism when the parent is no longer the primary caretaker. The plan should be reviewed annually as the consumer ages and the family situation changes, and at least every three years to ensure that legal documents are still up to date.

  • Legal planning documents such as wills, special needs trusts, arrangements for guardianship and guidelines for establishing or maintaining state and federal benefits
  • Financial planning in conjunction with legal planning that will safeguard SSI and Medicaid benefits, and inheritance
  • Financial planning to ensure that the “extras” in life that families provide--cable TV, vacations, favorite books and CDs, favorite clothing styles--are continued
  • Predictions of probable medical needs and desired interventions
  • Residential needs and desired living environments such as alternative housing options, residential facilities, group homes, and supported living options in the community
  • Details on the consumer’s likes, dislikes, preferences and unique personality features
  • Instructions for final arrangements and burial plans
  • Detailed choices a consumer may wish to make beyond basic food, housing and medical needs
  • Specifics on how the consumer may have control over his/her life choices. Assurances are detailed that someone the family knows and trusts will be watching over and advocating for their loved one

The life plan may also provide a schedule or example of a typical day in the life of the consumer.

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