Teen with autism struggles to buy new home for her family

(WXYZ) - An unconventional pet that helps a local teenager cope with autism could be in danger of disappearing from her daily life and could cause her to regress because her family is losing their home.

17-year-old Alair Bergman's best friend is not another girl her age, but the roosters and chickens on her farm that know all her secrets.

"They're calm, they listen.  They're really nice," said Alair.  The animals are really the only things that help Alair cope with her autism, especially her chicken Goldie.

"It learned for me a very hyper bouncy kid, it learned for me just to calm down so i can interact with the chickens," said Alair.

The goats they used to have do the same for her 14-year-old brother Robbie.  He also has autism and does not talk much. 

"It is life giving.  I would be scared to think of where we'd be without them being able to have their daily contact with their animals," said their mother Sharon Bergman.  That frightening situation is right around the corner.  Their family will lose their home and farm in Ortonville around Christmas time.

"It'd be horrible," said Alair.

Their landlord is trying to sell the property which means Alair and her family will need to move because they currently rent out the house.  So, Alair has set her sights on doing what might seem impossible for any teenager.

"I need to raise enough money to move and purchase a new farm," said Alair.

She plans to buy a new home by selling her autobiography that she dictated to her mom when she was 12-years-old.  ‘My Best Friend Goldie' is an account of her life with autism.  Goldie and the book would also be able to help other kids besides Alair and Robbie.

Alair is also a champion poultry winner.  At one of her 4-H events, a company out of Troy called NextWave that builds technology companies, met her and got involved in trying to get more attention for her book and her story.

"If I get a new farm I hope to start a new program for kids like me," said Alair.   They hope it could grow into a family business which would give their mother some piece of mind.  Sharon had breast cancer and is in remission.

"I don't know how long I'm going to be around.  That's just the facts," said Sharon.

Alair needs to sell 50,000 books over the next two months to continue to live in a world where they rule their autism and autism does not rule them.

If you want to learn more about Alair's book please visit the website: www.createspace.com

If you want to learn more about Alair and Goldie you can visit their website at: mybestfriendgoldie.com

The family also has a fund set up at Bank of America called Gratitude Grove Farm Fund.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments