Me and my brother, Tim, during a family vacation last summer. Tim's accomplishments have far exceeded the expectations given to my parents at the time of his diagnosis,
My younger brother, Timothy, received the double diagnosis of Autism and Intellectual Disability when he was about five-years-old. It was a difficult diagnosis for my family to accept. Tim, now fifty, did not have many of the advantages children with Autism have today. For most children during the 1960’s, including my brother, Autism was a diagnosis that was not followed by a plan for intervention. My parents were given very little advice or direction from the medical community. Advice did come to my parents, though, in the form of comments and remarks made by individuals while we were in public. You see, during Timothy’s early year, his disabilities were not observable to the general public. “That child needs some discipline.” “Those parents obviously don’t know what they are doing.” These comments, perhaps intended to enlighten my parents, in fact were very hurtful. Eventually, our family trips to the San Francisco Zoo, Santa’s Village in Santa Cruz and other annual pilgrimages began to diminish. The Autism community, during the past years, has been working diligently to educate the public about Autism awareness, though this effort is still a work in progress.
This Saturday, November 3rd at 9:00 a.m., the Salisbury Autism Support Group is meeting for breakfast at Ryan’s Restaurant in Salisbury. We look forward to getting together to share a meal, some comradely, share stories, be rambunctious and just enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed environment. Maybe we’ll even share some of our “peanut gallery” stories. I hope you will join us.
Katherine Generaux, Community Inclusion