But in fact, that's only one reason for my frustration. I'm also finding myself increasing frustrated by the realization that the expectations placed on adults with autism (and, in fact, all adults) are, to a very large degree, the invention of the past 60 years of cultural evolution.
Since when did families assume that each member must live in his or her own establishment, simultaneously earning a living, managing the books, shopping, cooking, cleaning, mending clothes, repairing the house, tending the gardens, and maintaining the car? In fact, this has been the case only since about 1947 - about the same time that the suburbs were essentially invented by Mr. Levitt, and "retirement" was invented out in Sun City Arizona.
Before that time, there was no shame in living "at home" with your parents. There was no shame in paying for - or accepting payment for - domestic work. Multiple generations often lived together, with no embarrassment on the part of any one of the generations. Except in cases of real poverty, no one would ever expect the breadwinner to also manage the household, or vice versa. Except in most unusual situations, it wouldn't occur to a family to find a nice institution where an elderly relative could be "properly looked after." Pick up a novel written before the second world war, and you'll find a completely different perception of what adults were expected to know, understand, and do.
Now, I can't say that I'm advocating a return to the good old days of class warfare. But I am questioning the assumption that it's somehow embarrassing or shameful to live "at home," or to have help in managing a household. I'm questioning the idea that it's "better for everyone" to live separately.
In short, when it comes to adults with autism (or to families in general, really) - is independent living over-rated?