Tony had lived on the streets for 45 years, and in recent years had become increasingly physically unwell. Despite this he refused all offers of help, and it became clear to his support workers that he found social engagement of any kind very distressing. It was only when it was recognised that he had autism that staff were able to adapt their approach to support him to move off the streets into a hostel.
There has been little focus on whether autistic people might be over-represented among the homeless population. Autism is a condition characterised by differences in the way the brain develops, with autistic people showing difficulties with social skills, unusual sensory processing, and a tendency towards inflexibility and restricted interests.
Many autistic people, given the right support, live full and satisfying lives. Unfortunately, such support is often lacking, and many autistic adults struggle to find sustainable employment and housing. […]
By William Mandy