The quality of life of three men with autism spectrum disorders living in a group home: a case study

Skinner, Kerry (2009-03)

Thesis (MEdPsych (Educational Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

This thesis focused on three adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are living in a group home in Cape Town. The purpose of this exploratory study was to explore and describe the three occupants' perceived quality of life and their experiences of living in the group home. The group home was established in 2005 as a pioneering project by Autism Western Cape, a regional non-profit organisation (NGO). It is designed for adults with high-functioning ASD who require low care. In this interpretative study, a multiple case study method of enquiry was used. The Personal Wellbeing Index – Intellectual Disability (PWI-ID), as developed by Cummins and Lau (2005), was used as the primary subjective outcome measure of quality of life. In addition, the study made use of participant observations undertaken during two semi-structured interviews with each participant and two focus group interviews. All three participants felt that they had enjoyed a higher level of quality of life, especially in the domain of 'personal relationships', since their arrival at the group home. However, they expressed a desire for more independence; a higher income; female companionship and better security at the home. These suggestions have been made available to the relevant sponsors of the housing project.

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