NICE Guidance on Residential Care for Adults on the Autism Spectrum

The following extracts are from "Autism in adults: diagnosis and management." (2012). London: NICE. 

Residential Care If residential care is needed for adults with autism it should usually be provided in small, local community-based units (of no more than six people and with well-supported single person accommodation). The environment should be structured to support and maintain a collaborativapproach between the person with autism and their family, partner or carer(s) for the development and maintenance of interpersonal and community living skills. Residential care environments should include activities that are:

  • structured and purposeful
  • designed to promote integration with the local community and use of local amenities
  • clearly timetabled with daily, weekly and sequential programmes that promote choice and autonomy. Residential care environments should have:

  • designated areas for different activities that provide visual cues about expected behaviour
  • adaptations to the physical environment for people with hyper- and/or hypo-sensory sensitivities (see recommendation
  • inside and outside spaces where the person with autism can be alone (for example, if they are over-stimulated). Residential care staff should:

  • understand the principles and attitudes underpinning the effective delivery of residential care for adults with autism
  • work in collaboration with health and community care staff from a rang of specialist services to support the delivery of a comprehensive care plan
  • be trained in assessing and supporting the needs of adults with autism
  • be consistent and predictable, but with some flexibility to allow change and choice
  • be committed to involving families, partners and carers.

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23 Aug 2021