Dorset

Dorset autism patient Alex Jordan 'prisoner in home'

Alex Jordan says having autism has left her a "prisoner" in her own home.

The 28-year-old from Poole in Dorset cannot go out alone under her care rules after being hit seven times in one year trying to cross the road.

The rules were set up by medical and social workers in a bid to keep her safe.

Support worker Heather Rand comes to do cooking once a week and also helps her get out and about, but she can go long periods at home on her own.

"I don't feel lonely, I've got Facebook, who hasn't, but some of my best friends are people I've never met," Miss Jordan said.

She is highlighting the condition as part of a BBC South series into people with high-functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome.

'Autism sucks'

She has broken bones and put her head through a windscreen in a number of accidents after becoming confused trying to cross the road.

Due to her condition, cars do not appear to travel fluidly and can "jump" about because her senses are becoming over loaded.

She said: "All the exhaust fumes are different colours.

"Sometimes they [the vehicles] don't look like they are even flowing, they look like they are jumping about.

Image caption Exhaust fumes appear to emit colours to some people with autism

"Just the simple act of crossing the road is not as simple as everybody thinks."

Autism is a serious developmental, life-long disorder which has no known cause or cure.

It affects a person's ability to learn and communicate and can also lead to severe behavioural problems.

It has led to Miss Jordan having to stay at home when she is on her own under the conditions of her care.

She is also not allowed to use a gas cooker or answer the door after dark.

"It's a prison. My life is restricted by my autism, it is not restricted by the people that help me, it is restricted by the condition.

"Autism sucks. Autism is just a horrible thing."

'Looking forward'

Support worker Ms Rand added: "The door isn't locked behind us when we leave... so she can go out if she wants to.

"But she knows that if she goes out and tries to cross a busy road she may well come to serious injuries."

Despite her problems, Miss Jordan manages to carry out unpaid work for part of the week for a company providing training and care within the learning disability sector.

"It is just a case of trying to stay positive and looking forward to the good things," she added.

All this week BBC South is featuring stories from people with Asperger's and high-functioning autism to show what life is like for them behind closed doors.

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