My name is Adam, and I am autistic. Life has never been easy for me, but when I found myself homeless and alone in freezing weather, things hit an all-time low. I was forced to seek refuge in a local shelter, a place that I had vowed never to return to due to the commotion and noise that completely unsettled me and my companion, Mr. Banks.
I felt lost, hopeless, and isolated. Despite reaching out to local councils and support services, I was let down, mistreated, and faced with false promises. It was a struggle to even navigate the complexities of the system, and I felt like I was fighting a losing battle.
But then, a glimmer of hope emerged. Anna Kennedy, a well-known autism campaigner and founder of the Anna Kennedy Online charity, came to my aid. Anna not only understood my unique needs but went above and beyond to help me. She spent countless hours on the phone with me, helping me navigate the complex and often-unhelpful council system. She offered me practical advice and emotional support, providing a listening ear when I needed it most.
Anna’s charity, Anna Kennedy Online, is dedicated to raising awareness and providing support for individuals and families affected by autism. As a mother of two sons on the spectrum, Anna knows firsthand the challenges that people with autism face, particularly when it comes to accessing the support and services they need. Through her charity, Anna works tirelessly to promote understanding and acceptance of autism and to improve the lives of people on the spectrum.
Anna also set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise enough funds to accommodate myself and Mr. Banks at a hotel for the Christmas holidays and well into the new year. The outpouring of support from people around the world was incredible, and we hit our target within 24 hours. As people continued to donate, the final amount raised was over three times the initial goal. Their generosity and compassion will always hold a special place in my heart.
Thanks to Anna’s help and the kindness of strangers, I now have a place to call my own. It’s a safe and comfortable flat in the village where I grew up, which is so important for my well-being as someone on the autism spectrum. The familiarity of the surroundings helps me feel grounded and at ease.
Having a safe place to call home has given me the opportunity to heal and grow. I’ve developed a new routine and a new plan for the future. I’m finally managing to sleep and dream, and I’m getting up earlier and earlier each morning, making the most of my morning walks with Mr. Banks throughout the beautiful surrounding countryside.
But my journey doesn’t stop here. Being autistic comes with its unique challenges, and homelessness only added to them. It’s estimated that 85% of adults with autism are unemployed or underemployed, and research shows that the likelihood of someone on the spectrum experiencing homelessness is higher than that of the general population. It’s a reminder that we need more awareness and support for those on the autism spectrum who are struggling to find their place in the world.
That’s why I’m committed to using my experiences to help others in my community who have special needs. I’m looking for ways to give back and make a positive impact, one example being organizing a special needs ministry at my local church.
I hope my story can inspire others to keep pushing forward and to believe that help can come from unexpected places. I’m eternally grateful for the kindness and generosity of those who helped me along the way, and I’m excited to see where this new chapter of my life will take me. With the right support and understanding, anything is possible