Thursday, 3 April 2014

Autism Awarness : My Brother The Hero

In honor of Autism Awareness Day I thought I'd write about my experience with it.
My brother was diagnosed with Autism around 4 years old. Back then Autism was still a fearly new diagnosis so it took quite some time for us to come to this conclusion. 
Around 2 years old he stopped responding when we called him so automatically we thought he was deaf but we soon found out that was not the case.
After 2 years of increasing symptoms and continues research we found a specialist in Florida who introduced us to autism. It was concluded that he had 10% Autism ... (whatever that means).
Anyway Dvan would throw tantrums, make loud noises and his speech development was very slow.
We had done everything from gluten free diets to speech therapy.  I can write a whole other blog post about what we've found out about autism and I probably will but for today I wont. 
Now fast forward 16 years later my brother is fully capable of holding a very intellectual conversation using words I dont know meanings of, he has taught himself for the most part how to play the guitar,  he's an artist,  he works and is learning to drive. My brother who everyone thought would be so dependant on us hardly has time for me anymore and without evening knowing it gives me the inspiration to keeping pushing toward my dreams everyday.
When talking about his childhood he always says "When I used to have autism...." and he hates if you say he has autism. Autism to him is like a cancer that he has beat. With the right support consisting of people who didn't limit him to what THEY thought he was capable of D'Van has grown into a pretty awesome dude!
For anyone who has a loved one with autism I will give this small piece of advice. Do not limit them because of a word. Let them reach for their goals just like you would any other child. It may be scary for you but for them it is empowering! You would ne surprised the lengths they reach.
Is D'Van different? Sure! But not because one time ago he USED to have autism but because his personality, self discipline and characteristics surpass that of any other human I know!  


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