ADAM LUDEWIG BATTLES CHRONIC AUTISM & SUCCEEDS ON THE VOICE
Adam Ludewig wins a chance to compete on The Voice Australia
Adam Ludewig surprised everyone with his blind audition of ‘Leave the Light On’ by Tom Walker. The unassuming 16 year old managed to get all four judges to turn their chair around for The Voice Australia’s auditions. His incredible voice was full of heart and soul. Little did anyone know about the two chronic health conditions Adam lives with; Autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Listening closely to his post performance you can also hear about his story of being bullied in his home town in South Australia.
All four judges Boy George, Delta Goodrem, Guy Sebastian and Kelly Rowland spun around and were impressed. Even more impressive is his reason for auditioning on the show, even at the young age of 16 he wants to inspire others
“I want to make songs that really motivate people and tell them that they’re not just a nobody and that it’s okay to be different. If everyone was the same on this earth, it would be pretty boring” Adam
Adam grew up in a remote rural town in South Australia and admits he would feel isolated and uninspired. Through all that he decided to pick up a guitar after getting inspiration from hearing his dad playing music. His bedroom would become his release and he has since channelled a lot of his energy into his music.
What is Autism?
Autism is defined as a developmental disorder which affects how a person communicates and relates to other people. It is a lifelong, chronic, that is most easily characterised by the difficulty a person who has the disorder has in social communication, interactions and demonstrates restricted or repetitive behaviours or interests.
Autism can present substantial challenges for those affected, their families and friends. Generally this chronic condition remains but in some cases the social, communication and sensory deficits can potentially be remediated with the use of intervention therapies and the right structured support.
In many cases people on the Autism spectrum have four or more other conditions and how they manifest can vary from one person to the next;
- Difficulties with with social interaction with others
- An unusual interest in particular objects.
- The need for ‘sameness’ and having difficulty with changes of environment or situations.
- Great variations in abilities.
- Under or over reaction to one or more of the five senses: sight, touch, taste, smell, or hearing.
- Repeated actions or body movements.
These conditions can exacerbate features of autism or affect the timing of an autism diagnosis. This is what makes Adam’s achievement even more remarkable in the sense from all external accounts he looks like a normal child.
Although there can be other traits or conditions that accompany autism and they generally fall into one these groups;
- Classic medical problems, such as epilepsy, gastrointestinal issues or sleep disorders
- Developmental diagnoses, such as intellectual disability or language delay
- Mental-health conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder or depression
- Genetic conditions, including fragile X syndrome and tuberous sclerosis complex.
There are differing opinions and reports about how common these conditions are amongst people with autism so for example it is estimated between 11 and 84 percent of autistic children also have anxiety. The worldwide differences in diagnostic criteria make it hard to make it a definitive area to measure.
How many people in Australia have Autism?
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2018 there were 205,200 Australians with autism, a 25.1% increase from the 164,000 with the condition in 2015. Males were 3.5 times more likely than females to have the condition, with prevalence rates of 1.3% and 0.4% respectively.
According to reports it was found that in 2018 there were 170,100 people with autism who required assistance & many did not receive any. Over half (51.7%) indicating they needed more help with at least one activity. The unmet need for assistance was highest for cognitive and emotional support (61,000 people), communication (30,100) and mobility (21,700).
It raises the question of how well some of these people could be enjoying their lives even more if they had the right level of access to support services.