Factors of support.

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This week I have moved from west london to east london. Form zone 4 to the far edge of zone 5.

This is quite a big thing and along with moving all the usual things (council tax, bills) I am also trying to develop a new support structure.

The good news is there is already a great support structure where I am moving too. Three friends share a house about half a mile from my new home. They also have family who know me in the area.

The plan too start with is too see how I get on with my day to day support mostly coming from two or three people. One of my friends has agreed to visit me each morning. At least at first, the plan is for me to come to the shared house for dinner each evening.

This got me thinking about the factors of support. What are the areas where support differs. Are there any patterns?

I have come up with three factors for support.

  1. Autonomy - "freedom from external control or influence; independence."

  2. Location - do I go to support, or does support come too me.

  3. Cost - financial, but also social, energy and emotional (eg guilt.)

I see a trends:

The trend i see is that cost rises with control. Eg the more I wish to control how, where and when I am supported the most it costs. Both in financial costs but also in terms of managing the support.

If I fit into the patterns of others and give up control; support can be ‘cheap’. The incremental cost to join friends for a meal when you live close by is tiny.

This also has the lowest management overhead. If all I have to do is be somewhere at a certain time and someone else makes decisions about stuff like what I eat they also manage all the related hassles (shopping, washing up, disruptive food smells).

At the other extreme, if I pay someone via a support agency or a babysitter to come and work to a plan I have designed it comes with a higher cost in both money and management.

I think I want a hybrid. Where for a couple of nights a week I have complete control and I buy in the support. But other nights support is informal and less structured via my friends.

Having the paid support setup also means that should my friends all go away on holiday or otherwise all be away I have the ability to easily increase the support available with people I know.

So in a nutshell this is how I am thinking about support and some of the factors which I am considering.


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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