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Housing Success Story: Michael Appel

In sunny Cape Coral, Michael Appel has lived on his own since July 1st of this year. He and his parents searched together to find the perfect home for him. Michael knew he wanted to live somewhere on the first floor and he knew he wanted a place all to himself. Michael and his parents got the help of a realtor and searched for condos and houses in the area. The homes and second floor condos that were available just didn’t seem to fit Michael’s needs, but eventually they found the perfect one. He lives by himself and rents one side of a duplex, while his neighbor owns the other half. Michael’s two bedroom, two bathroom home is near the beaches of Cape Coral and he thoroughly enjoys living there on his own.

Long before venturing out on his own, Michael started a program in 5th Grade called community based instruction or CBI to learn skills for independence. His CBI training prepared him to grocery shop, cook, take out trash, do laundry and other household activities. Now he goes to My Autism Connection or MAC, to develop additional skills towards independence and participate in social activities. Michael also enjoys metal detecting and ghost hunting in his free time. When asked what advice he might give to those who may be ready to move out on their own, Michael told us that he thinks everyone should make a pros and cons list to help them decide if moving out is the best option for them. After a decision is made, Michael recommends thoroughly planning out the move to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible for you and your loved ones.

When he moved into his new duplex he was proud to be able to cut his own grass for the first time. Being on his own gives Michael the chance to learn new things constantly. He also works 15 to 20 hours a week as an usher at the local movie theater. Michael drives himself to work and wherever he needs to go.

When we asked Michael about his new home, he told us that his favorite thing about his new home is living by himself and being able to do whatever he wants on his own. Michael and his parents were able to plan for his transition and now he is able to live happily on his own in his beautiful Cape Coral duplex.