A special home for a special son with autism

Yesterday’s Chicago Tribune featured a story about a house that was rehabbed especially for a young adult with autism.

Larry and Beth Markin have a 22-year-old son, Eric, who is autistic. Two years ago, because of his aggressive behavior and the problems involved in caring for him, Eric was declared a crisis case by the state. The Markins knew he could no longer live with them in their Buffalo Grove home. But neither of their options was acceptable in their eyes.

“One was to drop him off at an institution,” says Larry, who points out that that would have meant signing away his parental rights. “The state would take him and they’d spend $150,000 or $160,000 [a year] to manage him in a state institution. My other choice … was to take whatever money [government programs] would give me, about $55,000, and I’d have to house him with six other people” in a group home. Neither setting would be conducive to Eric’s well-being.

And so, the Markins bought Eric’s grandparent’s home — a place Eric had visited all his life — and hired a contractor to convert it into a home that takes Eric’s behavior and special needs into account. The house will also accommodate a second person with special needs plus a caretaker provided by an agency.

Attractive, accessible housing is essential for children and adults with disabilities as they go about their everyday lives. Parents who are thinking of retrofitting houses for their children with special needs will find help and advice at the Easy Access Housing for Easier Living Program on our website.

Easter Seals teamed up with the CENTURY 21 Real Estate Corporation to establish the Easy Access Housing for Easier Living Program — it provides homeowners with helpful educational brochures, an expert panel with additional resources and easy-to-implement tips for making an accessible home a reality.

CENTURY 21 has displayed unwavering commitment and dedication to Easter Seals for nearly three decades. Throughout the years, the CENTURY 21 System’s efforts have raised more than $91 million for Easter Seals. To see how Easter Seals and CENTURY 21 System’s Easy Access Housing for Easier Living Program might work for you, Take an Accessible Home Virtual Tour – there’s no place like home.


Comments may not reflect Easterseals' policies or positions.

Comments are closed.