beyond school

Living independently

Living independently

In the years after leaving school, many teenagers and young people are moving towards a more independent lifestyle.

This looks different for each person. You might stay at home with your family, but make most of your decisions for yourself. You might be planning to move out into shared accommodation with friends or live on your own. Some young people may only need family support to achieve this, others may require support workers to assist them. You may be interested in finding a suitable disability-specific type of accommodation that can provide a high level of support.

There are many options available, however, at the time of writing, there is a shortage of affordable accommodation across all communities. There is also a scarcity in disability-specific accommodation. This should ease over time, however, at this stage, many people will have to work very hard to find the right accommodation to suit their needs.

Before any young person thinks about moving into their own place, they need to learn many skills. For many young autistic people, the years after school are spent at home learning skills they will need for life, to the best of their ability.

On the Autism Launchpad website you can find a Becoming independent area, written into two sections: one aimed at young people and the other for parents and carers. This has articles on the following topics:

  • Around the house
  • Looking good
  • Managing money
  • Using public transport
  • Learning to drive
  • Sports and hobbies
  • Holidays
  • Housing
  • Your consumer rights

For families and carers, the emphasis is on helping your school leaver to gain as many independence skills as they can. Then, when the time comes to start looking for a place for them to live independently, they will need help and support to research all the options for both housing and financial support.

For NDIS participants, the first step is to read the large amount of information on the main NDIS website: NDIS Home and living.

The NDIS funds many supports to assist participants to live independently. But do bear in mind that the majority of young people leaving school stay at home until they are well established into their new routine, whether that means social and community participation, study, work or training for work.

Moving out of home usually means renting somewhere to live in the private market or in social housing. A very small number of NDIS participants, those who have very high support needs, can access Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA).

Read more about SDA options on the NDIS website here.