Adem’s Story Most of us think nothing of travelling in a car. For Adem, it means everything. Adem has severe autism. For four years, he refused to leave his bedroom, except to eat and drink. Twenty-three hours a day of seeing nothing but the four walls. Twenty-three hours a day by himself. Zero hours a day of contact with the outside world. And just seeing the car in the driveway was enough to make him shake and cry with fear. Something had to change. It was very, very small steps that took Adem from the confines of his bedroom out into the world. Three years ago, he had no words. Now he can say which drink he wants. Now he can choose what he watches on his iPad. Now he asks to go on “the bus” (his name for the car his residential home uses) – and he asks every day. But it took a lot of time (years not months), patience and a huge amount of encouragement from Adem’s keyworker, Adam – and his other support workers – to get Adem to start engaging in life again. Everyone at Norwood believes that people should live the life they choose, irrespective of their ability. And Adem is no exception. Because they all believed in Adem, Adam and his colleagues were prepared to do whatever it took to give Adem a better quality of life. Thanks to their patience, commitment, perseverance and deep understanding of Adem’s needs, Adem has come so far. Once Adem spent 23 hours a day in his room. Now he spends time with his housemates and enjoys his car journeys to the local area. Once Adem would get so distressed he would lash out, kick and self-harm. Now that he’s able to communicate his needs, he’s much calmer. Once Adem was in a very dark place. Now he’s happier and more confident. It’s been a long journey for Adem to get to where he is now and he still has a long way to go, but so far he has exceeded all expectations.