Perseverance

October 25, 2007
By
“I give up! Leave me alone okay?” is the usual response followed with a ten minute temper tantrum, screaming and beating his chubby little hands against the pavement would only have to be my little brother Tyler. When Tyler was just born we figured he was just a late bloomer that he would eventually catch on; but he didn’t. In the fall of 1995 was one we were not ready for. Little did we know that not only my impact on his life and the impact of many others would result into clearing that diagnosis from his record once in for all.
My mother started to worry about my little brother when he wasn’t progressing with the kids his age. That’s when she decided to go to a doctor that could figure out what was going on in that head of his. Then only thing I can remember was the silent tears flowing down my mothers face when she got the news that he had a condition called autism. The doctor told my mother to look for symptoms and different techniques to make it easier for the family to live with. We started putting up pictures and words to show him how to brush his teeth, use the restroom, and wash his hands. We tried teaching him but each time we tried he would go into a fit or start hitting one of us.
Going to the grocery store was as fun as going to an amusement park for Tyler. When we would arrive he just jet off to the fragrance isle and would not get his nose out of the fabric detergent. There was even a time where he would open up box after box, unscrewing top after top and dumped all the contents all over the isle. That was the last time we had Tyler accompany us to the store. Things that you should learn at a young age he wasn’t capable of comprehending. It seemed as if he would never listen to us but he would take on to the dog’s habits such as peeing in the backyard on a tree. He would eat like a dog, sleep like a dog, and behave like a dog. The hardest challenge we had to endure was trying to get him to learn how to tie his shoes.
“I don’t know how to do it, so just go away!” he would scream.
“We are not trying to hurt you, we are trying to help you so the other kids won’t make fun of you when they find out that you can’t tie your shoes” my mother exclaimed.
With the efforts of the doctors, therapists, and the family Tyler did progress. My mother started taking these classes on autism so we could get on top of his problem and try to make the best of it. Every other Thursday my mother would take Tyler and me to interact with other kids that had autism. While I wasn’t diagnosed with it, they wanted someone to go with them that Tyler felt most comfortable with, not that I was the most familiar person its just I was the only one that volunteered. With time Tyler learned to color in between the lines, control his temper year by year, and to think with all of your help and encouragement we gave him he even learned how to tie his shoes by the 5th grade. Nobody really noticed Tyler’s progression until it just hit us all at once. My brother Robby felt compassion for him and was working everyday with him to get him to enjoy the daily activities of being a boy. Playing football, basketball, baseball were activities that he learned to control his anger. It wasn’t until he was in 4th grade that the light bulb turned on in his head. He started having conversations that you could actually understand and eventually moved into mainstream classes.
When our mother died reality started to set in for Tyler but at the same time it made him grow as an individual. When we made our move to Baytown it was as if he left the old Tyler behind. Since then he has been dedicated to sports such as football and baseball and has even took on a couple of Pre-AP classes. Last year he was scheduled to go to the doctor to get a re-diagnosis and they decided to take autism off of his record for good.
People that haven’t seen my brother since he was little can’t believe the remarkable change that has occurred in between then and now. I was there all along and I still can’t see how it was even possible. Each doctor that has seen him has said that it was a miracle how he went from rock bottom to the point he is now. When I tell teachers that have been around autistic children they don’t even believe me, which I guess is a good thing instead of them being able to see what he used to be. If someone would have told me that I would have to have patience beyond belief, mental strength, and a deep understanding of the diagnosis of my brother having autism I would have never thought I would be able to do it. Everybody has a struggle in their life that they have to fight through, but it’s the dedication and swimming against the current that makes you the person that you are.





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