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How is supported housing service organized in the communities?

In order to carry out the activities, it is necessary to ensure support staff members that will all together, according to schedule, work 24 hours all days of the week. Both communities employ ten support assistants, occupational therapist who is also the coordinator of the communities, and a special education expert who is the coordinator of the supported housing service programme. The coordinator of the communities, according to a weekly work schedule, gives instructions to the assistants and cooperates on a daily basis with the coordinator of the supported housing service programme and informs him about working with adults with autism and the support staff.

The support staff in the communities is educated about the needs of people with autistic spectrum disorders and community-based housing service. The training was conducted by the experts from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation and by a non-governmental organization Association for Promoting Inclusion.

Organising and managing the supported housing programme and creating weekly working plans is carried out within the framework of weekly and monthly meetings with the staff, community coordinator and coordinator of the supported housing service programme, together with psychiatrist and a neurologist. In this way we ensure that support to adults with autism is provided 24 hours a day continuously throughout the week, and during the whole year.

In order to protect the mental and physical health of adults with autism, a professional support of medical doctors is organized within the supported housing service programme. We hire a psychiatrist and a neurologist as expert associates who, now for years, know the adults with autism who live in the communities and know their individual needs and difficulties. Because of this, they are able to provide individualized medical assistance to each person.

Ways of providing support to the adults with autism in the community-based housing programme

Adults with autism living in the communities learn abouth the things that are functional. To be able to understand their surroundings, working method that is used with autistic individuals includes structured teaching method, through which each person learns to use their skills. There are three interdependent and interconnedcted learning clusters: sctivities of daily living, social integration activities, work and leisure activities.

For the adults with autistic spectrum disorders, individualized education support programmes are made. In addition to helping them to differentiate between learning, work and leisure time, individualized schedule makes the transition from one activity to another easier, pointing to each person where to go next, encourages him with a sense of security and familiarity of the routine and motivation to complete the tasks at hand.

The aim of this approach is to raise the level of quality of life as much as possible and to develop the functional ability of the individual to live in the community with support. Encouraging individual competence, through skills development and structured environment, we strive to respect the needs of each individual.