Today is Autism Awareness Day. My son, Brandon is a 21 year old man who lives his true self every single day. So today, I am celebrating my amazing son.
Brandon has come such a long way since his diagnosis at 18 months old. He started using words to communicate when he was 8 years old. He is now able to express his basic needs using 2-3 word sentences.
Brandon began toileting independently (urinating only) when he was 6 years old. The number two part of that happened when he was 8.
Brandon began fully dressing himself when he was 10 years old. He still is not able to tie his shoes, so we purchase slip ons for him. Buttons are sometimes challenging for him, so he chooses to not wear items with buttons very often. T-shirt and jeans/sweats/shorts are his daily choice. And I have learned to loosen up a bit if everything doesn’t match.
Brandon keeps his bedroom in order. He knows where everything is and if something is moved, he notices. And then moves it back to its proper place.
Brandon has always loved music and is quite capable of finding whatever song he wants on his iPod. And his iPod is always with him.
Brandon can play Mario Kart better than anyone I ever saw. He always plays it on the Wii.
Brandon puts his seat belt on every single time he gets in the car. He never needs to be reminded. Ever.
Brandon will help take out the trash whenever he is asked. If he sees trash on the ground, he will pick it up and find the nearest trash can. If there is no trash can to be found, he will put it in his pocket to throw away when he finds one.
Brandon will wash his hands when asked to. We have to model it for him, but he does a pretty good job. He’s doing that a lot more now. Wash those hands, folks!
If Brandon sees something on the wrong shelf in the grocery, he will not move on until he puts the misplaced item back in its proper spot.
Brandon can put together a 200-300 piece puzzle without looking at the picture on the box. I find this amazing.
Brandon can sit in a salon for a haircut with no problems. Haircuts were a horrible, awful experience for everyone involved prior to the age of 13. Not now. Everyone at the salon loves him!
Brandon uses YouTube and Google to find videos he wants to watch and rarely needs help.
This is short list of how far Brandon has come and we are so proud of him!