If you are helping an adult loved one with autism to select a residential placement, here is a list of suggested questions from parents who have been through the process before:
What ensures the person is treated with dignity and respect by the staff and as an individual?
Are the individual’s parents, relatives, friends, advocates, and other service providers – e.g., day services provider – encouraged to participate in the planning process? Do they and the person receiving services have a role in defining care, recreational, and other activities?
How are the individual’s parents, relatives, friends, advocates informed about the individual’s daily activities, successes, issues, and the like?
What are the staff ratios for the program?
Are the staff properly screened (police background and child abuse clearances, driving records, references)?
What kind of training do staff receive before they start providing services?
What kind of ongoing training do staff receive?
Are staff trained in ABA methods or other types of behavioral supports?
Are staff trained in functional communication – e.g., PECS, ProLoquo2Go®?
How do staff handle aggressive behaviors?
What is the average length of staff tenure?
How long does it take for you to fill staffing vacancies?
How do you handle suggestions, complaints, or concerns from the individual receiving services or his/her family? Do you welcome suggestions?
Does the person receiving services or his/her parents, relatives, friends, or advocates play any role in hiring of staff who will be supporting him/her?
What comments or evaluations do you get from parents, relatives, friends, or advocates regarding how satisfied they are with the services you provide to their loved ones?
Are any of your behavioral analysts Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA’s)?
Can we select another provider to provide behavior support services?
Are nursing services provided?
What support is provided for recreational activities? What kind of activities?
What kind of outings will the person go on? How frequently?
What support is provided for self-care such as showering, grooming, tooth-brushing?
Who decides what the person receiving services will eat? What say does the person receiving services have in the choice of food?
Is there a consulting dietician?
Who cooks the meals?
What kind of oversight does the provider report to? Are these reports available to caregivers/parents?
Can we access referrals from other caregivers and parents with their consent?
What is the staff turnover rate?
How are miscellaneous spending funds for the individual handled and accounted for?
How is transportation prioritized and arranged for the individual?
(You may have other questions specific to your own situation or that of your loved one.)
 Note that what DDDS calls a “behavior analyst” is more a case manager for a person who has other behavior supports. Few have ABA training or are BCBA’s.