Bradley Hennessey has taken his love for computers to the next level, developing games to help people experience and understand the life of a person with autism.
The 18-year-old from Mansfield started programming his award-winning game ‘An Aspie Life’ when he was in Year 11 after discovering computer programming and game design in high school.
Bradley’s mum, Tina, said while the game was developed to help other people understand first-hand what it is like to live with Asperger’s, by creating this game it had also helped Bradley to understand his traits and how they made him different to other people.
“He recreated his noise sensitivity, word language, social conversation limitations and anxiety. He made this game to give back to society and educate people that autism is not scary; you just have to understand it,” Tina said.
A year after developing the game he was awarded the Young ICT Explorers and Screen It Awards, and later started his own company, Enderlost Studios.
“He is now working on a prequel which goes back to seeing the world through a 12-year-old’s eyes, as well as swapping to a neuro-typical child as well as another child who has a cultural barrier.
Brad is trying to help bring understanding of different viewpoints so we all learn to be more accepting of our differences.”
Brad is now thriving in his second year of university studying Game Design and Interactive Technologies and to help to continue to develop his independence and communication skills, Bradley receives funding for a psychologist thanks to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
“Bradley’s NDIS goals are to learn to socialise easily, cope with the stresses of life, learn to drive with a driving school which specialises in drivers with anxiety, work towards being confident, developing independence, and then leaving home.”
Bradley also receives funding to purchase noise cancelling earphones to enable him to travel on buses, study in the library at university, and block out noise at home and when he is out.
“This is essential as his noise sensitivity is not getting better with age, so he will always have it and needs to learn to live with it.”
Bradley received assistance to apply for and implement his NDIS funding in August 2018 from Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Brisbane region.
“When we first accessed the NDIS Bradley was not in a good place emotionally and stress-wise, but it helped greatly for him to know he had as much support as he needed. Knowing he has support has always helped him cope.
“Our Local Area Coordinator, Susan, is really supportive and Brad feels he can contact her anytime. If his life circumstances change, such as when he moves out of home, he’ll decide if he’ll need more support initially to adjust to the change.”
Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for the scheme, and to help you get started with your NDIS plan.
If you’re not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland can also help you identify and link to options in your community.
To find out more about how the NDIS and Local Area Coordination program can work for you, visit Carers Queensland NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Brisbane region at Garden City Office, Building 20, Level 1, 2404 Logan Road, Eight Mile Plains or call 3719 9600.