My inspiration comes from varying sources in my life. Special friends, family and colleagues always lend themselves to being a driving force to me, but my one true push comes from a very special person who graced my life in 2004.
Sandwiched between an older sister and younger brother, Brandon was diagnosed with autism in 2008. The challenges brought on with autism for him, there is no manual for…there is no magic pill…and there is no present day cure. Deemed high functioning, his autism revolves around difficulty with behavioural and social related situations and interactions.
Brandon beats to his own drum and despite the trying times life throws at him, he still manages to excel at many sport related activities with his amazing agility and balance. He adores rock climbing walls, road hockey and most everything outdoors…especially riding his bike, something he taught himself to do.
He has tested me many times but he has equally taught me many life lessons. Time doesn’t matter unless its time for dinner and he’s in the middle of a puzzle. How his hair looks, or what he’s wearing has no relevance as he lives as himself…good, bad or indifferent. Everyday he wakes and without words he tells us “This is me.” He also has an amazing death grip, and for the record, I still have both my eyes.
Brandon is well supported through his home and school environments. Working with a home based ABA team headed by Alexia Stack from A Block Above Consulting (http://www.ablockabove.com/) he is exposed to intensive programs that work to curb his behavior’s. All the while these programs provide a variety of learning objectives that he is intent on mastering after which the bar is raised. Both of his environments are managed by his mother, my wife, Yvonne. She is truly the workhorse of the household and always ensures Brandon’s days start off on the right note. When she is not busy with being a mother to three children, she is very active in her catering business and her own fitness regiment. She has run both the Boston and New York Marathons with a recent sub 3:30 finish. She has been a huge pillar of support in all of my endeavors, and this one is no different. Without her approval, blessing and encouragement, row4autism would not be possible.