This will be a post on the subject autism and what kind of help is available in the community. I’ll try to explain The Swedish Act concerning Support and Services for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (LSS) and I would like to hear about the support offered to parents in our situation around the world.
LSS is an entitlement law that guarantees good living conditions for people with extensive and permanent impairments, ensuring that they receive the help they need in daily life and that they can influence the support and service they receive.
Those who are qualify for measures pursuant to this Act are entitled to the following:
- Advice and other personal support.
Individuals who qualify for measures pursuant to this Act may be entitled to support from experts who, in addition to their professional knowledge, also have special knowledge about what it is like to live with serious functional impairments. A social worker, psychologist, physical therapist, preschool adviser, speech therapist, occupational therapist, or dietitian can provide such support.
- Personal assistance
To be entitled to personal assistance, the individual must need help with meals, personal hygiene, dressing and undressing,communicating with others, or need some other assistance that requires extensive knowledge of people with functional impairments. The municipality may provide assistance directly or the individual may obtain financial aid, in which case the individual acts as an employer and hires someone to provide assistance.
- Companion Service
Individuals who do not have personal assistance may be entitled to companion service. Companion service shall be personalized, tailored to meet the needs of the individual to have an active social life.
- Contact Person
In order to reduce social isolation, assist in participation in leisure activities, and provide advice in daily situations, individuals may sometimes need help from a contact person, who can make it easier for the individual to live independently.
- Relief service in the home
Relief service is available both as a regular service and for unexpected situations.
- Short stay away from home
The purpose of a short stay away from home is to provide the individual with the opportunity for recreation and a change of environment while providing relief for relatives.
- Short period of supervision for schoolchildren over the age of 12
Schoolchildren over the age of 12 are entitled to supervision before and after school and during holidays.
- Living arrangements in a family home or in a residence with special services for children and adolescents
Children and young people who cannot live with their parents may be entitled to live with another family or in a residence that provides special services. This should be a complement to the parental home both for the children who can live with their parents part of the time and for those who cannot live at home at all.
- Residence with special services for adults or other specially adapted housing
Residential arrangements may vary, but the most common forms are group housing and service housing.
- Daily activities
Working age individuals who are not gainfully employed or studying are entitled to assistance participating in daily activities
In principle, these special initiatives are free for the individual, with a few exceptions.
There is of course a lot of paperwork to do and people to convince before you can take part of these services but once you are through the bureaucratic barrier an individual plan is formulated in order to decide which services are needed. The services in them self are sometimes a real lifesaver but the people carrying out the services are often young and underpaid so it is a bit hard to obtain continuity in the people who works with my son and introducing new people to my son and his disabilities is never a fun thing to do. Today my son has 10 nights a month in a short stay away from home service so we can sleep a little extra and spend more quality time with my daughter and on Thursdays he has a companion service that takes him to a “members café” to meet other youths with similar disabilities.
I know some other EU countries have similar laws but I don’t know how they differ and where they exist so I’m curious, what support are you entitled to and what services do you use? Does it work well and in what way has it helped the impaired individual or the family?