Autistic people vary greatly in their support needs. This includes those with Asperger syndrome or a demand avoidant profile. Some live independently but others need support with certain tasks or need 24 hour specialist support.

Find out about different support options, where you might live, and how to apply for support, including support for carers. The process is different in each UK country. Find out about how to apply in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

Support options

You have a right to an assessment of your support needs if you have an apparent need. The most common types of support are listed below. Your local social services department or housing authority might suggest some other options which better meet your specific needs. You might have thought of another type of support yourself. If you have a social worker, tell them about any type of support that you think will help you.

Care from family

If your parents or other family members help you with managing your finances, cooking or shopping, or other aspects of daily life, they may be able to get support themselves by having a carer’s assessment.

Respite care

If you live with your family, respite care would give you a break away from one another. Respite care is sometimes called short breaks. Read more about respite care, and find out about our short breaks service.

Day centres

Day centres can help you to do activities and socialise with other people. Read about our daytime hubs.

Outreach

An outreach worker could help you to do the things you need or want to do, such as going to college, visiting the doctor, or doing your hobbies. Find out about our outreach services.

Supported employment

Supported employment services can help you to work or prepare for work. More about supported employment.

Support groups

Use our Autism Services Directory to find support groups and social clubs.

Therapists and specialists

You might get support from therapists and specialists such as counsellors and medical professionals.

Where you might live

Residential care

Residential care is sometimes known as a group home or shared housing. A home can be shared by as few as three people to as many as 20. Residents can do their own shopping and cooking, with support from staff, and support may include personal care. There is usually 24-hour staffing.

All residential homes must be registered. This means they must be vetted to make sure they provide suitable care to disabled people. Inspections are carried out regularly and assess a number of factors, including building standards, staffing levels, staff training and experience, health and safety and complaints. Registration requirements are the responsibility of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) in Northern Ireland, the Care Inspectorate in Scotland and the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) in Wales. You can view details of recent inspections on the website of these organisations.

Find out about our residential services.

Supported living schemes

In a supported living scheme, you live in your own accommodation where support is on hand. The level of support will depend on your needs. More about supported living and our charity’s supported living services.

Support in your home

Getting support in your own home is sometimes called domiciliary care. Read more about care in your own home and our charity’s home support services.

Shared lives

Shared lives is a bit like fostering - you live with a person or family who agree to support you. More about shared lives.

Supported lodgings

Living in someone else's home as a lodger, but with extra support, is called supported lodgings.

Homeshare

Homeshare means sharing a house or flat with someone who has different needs. Each person would have something to offer the other. For example, one person may have a home and need support and help, while other person may need a home and be able to offer help and support. More about homeshare.

More information

The National Autistic Society's support services

Adapting your home

Advocacy

Autism Accreditation - list of services with Autism Accreditation, or who are working towards this

Autism Services Directory

Buying or renting a home

Transport and car costs

Apply for support

Find out about how to apply for support, including support for carers, in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

Get benefits and care advice

Last updated: October 2017