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  • Kimberly Driscoll

IN HONOUR OF AUTISM MONTH





In honour of Autism awareness month, I thought I'd share a story on my brother. This is Joey! We are 8 years apart at, just 28 months old Joey was diagnosed with autism. Joey only had 10 words in his vocabulary, he aligned just about anything in a row: blocks, movies everything was put in a perfectly straight line. Joey could put together a 50 piece puzzle all by himself yes at just 2 years old. He loved balls and would destroy anything he could get his hands on. The bookshelf was always torn apart and anything that could be disassembled was. Toys were never played with correctly his mind was more fascinated with how those little wheels on cars moved rather than the actual functionality of it. Emotions were never a strong suit he could never tell if you were angry or sad it all meant the same to him. He dragged my mom everywhere to bring her to an object he wanted while grunting, moaning, and screaming while throwing his self to the floor. Joey didn't call me a sissy or Kimmie he gave me my own special name that fit his small vocabulary, Baybum not sure where this developed but I was ok with that this was his way of communicating with me. Sounds were something that really bothered him but that didn't stop him from occasionally bopping to music in his car seat. Throughout the years he's seen speech therapists and many behavior management specialists and even had tubes in his ears! My mom tried everything from low sugar diets and other food options to try and naturally help his impulses.

He really enjoyed being tightly wrapped like a caterpillar with deep pressure. His mind is brilliant, at just 3 years of age, he was downloading and printing items on the computer. Joey has a grade 4 level of education he was turned away from school as the services were not adequate enough for his need as well due to his aggression. This boy is intelligent and it's not because I'm biased, his IQ is very high he amazes me.

Today the computer is still his preferred form of communication and fun youtube is where it's at people! He could tell you 1000 Disney facts if you asked him. He's not a fan of being center of attention he wears grey from head to toe to stay hidden in the background. Once, we had to call Walmart's head office as they stopped selling the style he wore he doesn't like buttons so Walmart gathered what they had left in every store and sent it to us. It doesn't seem like a big deal but if it was not right he would run around naked. Joey is now extremely affectionate and his love for animals is amazing he adopted a calf and named her Dairy Queen and helped raise her. His social cues are even better he now smiles and let me tell you that the most beautiful thing to see after years of a very serious face. You guys he even tells jokes and makes fun of my sister's friends ( don't worry they think its funny too) Any word you give this child he will spell it ANYWORD! He literally edited my mom's university papers. It's been a long 17 years it has not been easy but he's a beautiful soul and he's ours!

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