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Housing and Community Resources for Neurodivergent Individuals

We at Planning Across the Spectrum take empowerment very seriously. We feel it’s vital to the way we work to help our clients build a future for themselves. Part of our job as advisors to our clients with support needs is helping them imagine life beyond the now and into the future. This aim to empower our clients to explore resources and services and find what works for them has been extremely successful for us and speaks to the understanding we have as neurodivergent certified financial professionals working with neurodivergent clients. Empowering neurodivergent individuals to imagine a future means giving them the tools to create a vision of that future. We do this in many different ways, including exploring resources currently available for transitioning into adulthood, considering independent living, planning for when the family is no longer the primary support people in an individual's life, or even just building on their relationships with their current community and friends. We have learned time and time again that one service, resource, or person cannot make a complete difference in someone’s life. We work to build a support network through a variety of connections with community resources, professionals, advocates, and services. This support network allows our clients to succeed while also consistently imagining a future that they are excited and confident about. This support network is built around them as individuals and what they want from the world, and we connect them with resources that we know are beneficial for helping them reach their unique goals.

We Know How to Effectively Plan and Prepare for Transitions

One of the core elements of building a future is being able to transition into that future. We guide individuals and their families through many transitions, often beginning with the transition from traditional education to higher education or adulthood. It is very well known how relevant finances are to these transitions, but what is not often known is how many different options and resources people typically have access to. In our financial review process, we discover what goals a young person has for career development, on or off of government benefits for the neurodiverse. We look at the big picture and find ways to use our knowledge of the financial system to create more opportunities for support and success. The goals our clients have are central to the community resources we connect them with to build a support network through large or difficult transitions.

The professionals at Planning Across The spectrum meet regularly with other professionals, advocates, and communities that provide guidance to our clients in many different ways. This is because we need to know the types of support that can be found throughout different communities. By staying up to date on what is happening with local community resources, we have a strong sense of which ones will click with our clients. Whether exploring college readiness, neurodivergent dating coaching, preparing to drive or living outside of a family home for the first time, there is a strong possibility that we can connect to a local resource that not only provides support but also 'does it in a way that puts the difficult decisions into an easy to follow step by step process. This is about putting the individuals we work with as in control of their futures as they possibly can be. At every possible turn we explore resources that will not do the work for our clients, but resources that will develop skills and knowledge while preparing them to engage with these skills on their own in the future. As we said earlier, at Planning Across the Spectrum we are looking toward the future, and the life each of our clients wants to build. That means providing resources that offer support networks and skill development specific to neurodivergent individuals at many different places and points in their personal, educational, and professional development.

We Have an Ever-Expanding Network of Experienced Neurodiverse Advocates Across the Country

We strive to empower those we work with to build their own lives, and that philosophy is reflected in our consistent support for connecting with services and resources outside of our company. Very often the individuals we work with need local resources who can consistently be there and accessible in ways we cannot, but we refuse to let that be the end of it. By building relationships and networking with others who not only deeply about the neurodivergent community but are able to offer benefits that we cannot, we can now help our clients build their network themselves. This is how we empower our clients to build their own lives while still providing the tools to do it effectively. We are not here to decide anyone’s life, we are here to help them build the life they want.

We are advocates to our core, and we are dedicated to helping others in the neurodivergent community thrive. We take our responsibilities as advocates for our communities and clients extremely seriously, and this has led to a commitment to the many ways we can empower the neurodiverse individuals we work with. Each individual we work with is unique, and through the level of understanding we have as neurodiverse individuals ourselves, we aim to consistently help build new and unique support networks for each of our clients. This is something we obviously cannot do alone, for reasons related to the fact that we can’t do everything or be everywhere. Because of this, we have spent many years building relationships with services, resources, professionals, advocates, and organizations that we truly believe in. Through this, we have created a vast network of community resources, non-profits, educational resources, governmental services, and internet-based resources spanning the entire United States.

A network of trusted professionals and experts across the country allows us to facilitate relationships between hyper-local or hyper-specific resources, including those related to driving as an autistic individual, purchasing insurance as an autistic individual, and even job coaching, community mentoring, and social groups. In a way the network we have built throughout our company’s years of work with the autism advocacy space serves as our own support network, allowing us to provide the best possible tools and resources to our clients as they build their own lives.

We Work with You to Understand the Many Options You Have Regarding Neurodiverse Housing and Housing Resources

Housing is not only a major transition in someone’s life, but it is related to some of the most important decisions each of us will make in our entire lives. Many individuals and families we talk to are looking toward independent housing in the future but do not know how to get there. Finding the right path to independent housing takes time, which is why we encourage people to explore all options available to them. This starts with asking basic but vital questions such as whether a young person is likely to be able to manage the needs of a home on their own, with all that entails (including paying bills, contacting different people when needed, analyzing utility usage, housekeeping, grocery shopping, and cooking) or whether they need support in one or more of the many elements of running a home. We've seen it all and understand that independence comes in many forms and is a crucial piece of empowering of clients to live their best lives in whatever form that takes. We have seen the life-changing opportunities that come from a supported individual taking steps towards independence and have seen how their successes impact their families for the better. At Planning Across the Spectrum, we work to find and support these opportunities for independence. A lot of these opportunities relate to housing, so we talk about it often.

When reviewing housing options easier is not always better or best. We review gifting and estate plans for housing with a close eye, making sure you have all you need to make a good decision on whether a house is owned in a trust, by an individual outright, or be left available for rental to others for use by caregivers or other individuals with support needs. We assess whether or not the home is the best option lifestyle-wise for your loved one, or if it’s just what they’re already used to. The most straightforward way we do this is by discussing budgeting as it relates to paying rent, mortgage, utilities, and other typical household expenses. There are many programs run by the government and nonprofit organizations that can help with these costs. There are also less obvious discussions that are equally worth having when it comes to finances and housing. We ask questions like are their neighbors, grocery stores, and beloved activities that the neurodivergent individual would have access to? Reviewing public transportation in the area and how much a taxi or uber to work would cost is also valuable for assessing how viable a living situation is. These are important resources and require discussions that we often see overlooked. They can play a huge role in setting neurodivergent individuals up for success when exploring their options for housing.

We also think there are discussions that need to be had about how practical it is for a neurodivergent individual to live with family. While this is an easy option, it is not the only option, and there are many times when neurodiverse people benefit from more living independence. In this case, we discuss options that can be accessed through asset and estate plans which could provide an individual more opportunities to make their own personal connections. We have seen these opportunities be major agents of positive change for many autistic and intellectually disabled individuals we work with, regardless of their support needs. Providing independence and more options to live outside of the family space can also lead to the family and individual actually growing closer. We believe this is emblematic of how we use financial planning expertise for the neurodiverse to empower individuals to live their best lives.

At the same time, there are many other factors that need to be given the same level of consideration. We need to consider if the individual needs greater services throughout their lifetime or if they will stay consistent or diminish. We also need to discuss whether they expect to have medical needs that require professional monitoring, or if they just need to have their medical care monitored periodically. If support staff or a team is needed there are options to have in-home health care wherever they are living. This includes a home, an apartment, or shared community living options. Some care arrangements are completely or partially provided for by state Medicaid resources, whether through a self-designed budget or working with a specific agency. Other arrangements require the financial stability of a special needs trust to make ongoing house payments. By having these discussions, we can use them to find opportunities to strive toward the long-term goals of all involved.

Let’s Work Together to Build Your Neurodiversive Support Network!

We greatly enjoy working with neurodivergent individuals to explore independence as an option. It’s another way we work to empower the neurodiverse community. If you are looking to engage with more neurodiverse community resources or want to speak with a qualified disability financial professional at Planning Across the Spectrum reach out! By supporting each other we can build inclusive communities where anyone and everyone can thrive and strive to live their best lives.