I was woken up on Saturday morning by a phone call at not quite 8 a.m. by my younger brother Denton. He really has no concept of time and wanted to tell me his good news. Apparently the day before when he was at his physiatrists office he finally after almost 25 years got a diagnosis. He’s on the Autism Spectrum. He was given an official Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis which we have been seeking out since he was about 3. The doctors suspected but for some reason would not settle on the diagnosis.
This was not really news to me. My parents, our family, my husband and I all suspected he was. We have other family members on the spectrum. I have a cousin with 5 kids under 10 and of them, 4 are somewhere on the Autism Spectrum. The father (my cousin) of the children has never been diagnosed himself but we all suspected as well and he was diagnosed with ADHD the same as my brother when he was younger. My Aunt was head of the Autism Society in Nova Scotia for a number of years. So we are very aware of Autism.
My brother was all excited because he really thought it would make such a big difference in his life. He has been struggling to hold down a job. He can’t fully take care of himself and still lives at home with my parents. They really struggle with him and with dealing with a lot of his issues both emotionally, mentally and behaviorally. As for me, I’m not so sure, to be honest, that it will make a whole lot of difference. This province has a lot of resources for children with Autism. Adults diagnosed in adulthood are virtually ignored. They don’t get the help that they need typically.
He’s still the same person. The lovable goofy younger brother who always annoyed me It’s still going to be a struggle for him every day. I sympathize with him. I can’t begin to understand the struggles he’s going through and honestly have no idea how to help him. I plan to do some more research on Autism. I know a lot but I could know a lot more. At least it now gives us something to work with. A diagnosis that will allow him to apply for and hopefully get the disability tax credit hopefully among other things. I am really hoping we can find programs and resources that will help as he gets older. My parents aren’t getting any younger. They need help with him.
Maybe the diagnosis will open up some doors as far as resources to help him on a day to day basis and to help my parents with him. He’s a bright young man. He’s moderate functioning when it comes to day to day things and being able to take care of himself but he needs help. Help that we can’t give him but maybe now we have a starting point. I am hoping maybe that with some research and some advocating that we can see what else we can do to help him on his journey.