New long term home.

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New home!

I’ve not written much in 2018. I have been super busy with other autism projects… but more on that in the near future.

Today, i’d like to share some wonderful news. This afternoon i exchanged contracts on a new flat. I should get the keys sometime tomorrow.

This is a huge milestone in my path towards autonomy and independence. Both in terms of finances, support and building a sustainable future. Here are 3 keys things which i am looking forward too with my new home.

A clean start

This will be the first time in my life where i will move home and can be selective in what i take with me. The plan is too start fresh, with specifically chosen furniture and possessions. I won’t be storing everything i own in the new flat. The new flat will only contain a subset with the rest in storage. This is an effort to keep my home simple and affordable.

We’re also taking a fresh start with decoration and sensory design. We’re going to be redecorating the flat into plain colours (lots of warm greys etc) and we’re building in lighting and noise control from the start.

Sustainable support.

The core of my support is my evening routine. However, most of the cost goes into the overnight support. We have never managed to work out how to make being alone overnight sustainable. I can do it, but after a night or two the impact is entirely unsustainable. It’s not dramatic (i don’t panic or anything) i just don’t get any rest. As i don’t have much energy to start with, the inability to rest can have a dramatic impact and my ability to work, communicate and maintain my life is vastly reduced.

We are designing specific features into my new home in order to try and address some of the things we think are causing this issue. For example, enhancing fire protection and building up predictable routines. We already have the building blocks and i am excited to explore what we can achieve.

Long term, if i don’t need overnight support my support costs become something i can feasibly self fund.

A long term home.

It’s been an extremely long time since i have had a long term home in a place i don’t expect to move from. I have in effect been living in temporary or unsustainable situations since i was first made homeless as a teenager.

This is the first long term stable home i have had. We’re going into it with a proven and tested support structure in a place i know well. I am looking forward to settling and being able to make long term decisions.

Final thoughts

I am exceptionally lucky to be in the position of owning my own home. I am extremely grateful to my friends for their support over the last few years and with the purchase process.

In a way this is the final act in an arch that has lasted most of my early adult life. I was ill, i had an operation and now almost 3 years later my recovery is well underway and i am moving into a period of stability. I am super excited!

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Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

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Jamie: @JamieKnight
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