Autism, ADHD, and Us

The other day, my youngest son, Bryant, and I were talking. Out of the blue, he asked me, “Ma, did you ever think you would ever have 2 neurodiverse kids?”

Neurodiverse is defined as a “ variation in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, and other mental functions.” My oldest son, Aaron, has Aspergers, a high functioning form of autism. Bryant has ADHD, combined type (inattentive/hyperactive).

Anyone that knows my husband, Paul, and I know how we parent our sons: honestly, faithfully, and without shame. I responded, “Moo, (Bryant’s family nickname), you know your story. I wasn’t sure I could handle 2 children with special needs, so when I found out I was pregnant with you, I just prayed for you to be normal.”

Moo looked at me and flashed his famous sheepish grin and responded, “And you got me.” We both laughed. “You’re right Moo. God didn’t make any mistakes.”

There is a gap in age between our sons (Aaron is 25, Bryant is 17), so as a family, we’ve been dealing with neurodiversity for over 20 years. Both sons have become great young men with loving hearts and sharp minds.

Aaron and Bryant over the years.

There have been many struggles and mistakes along the way. However, as a family, we learned to mitigate as much calamity as we could by:

❇️ Identifying problems;

❇️ Identifying possible resources/solutions;

❇️ Developing and executing a plan;

❇️ Debriefing…. And starting over again!

Life has not been perfect for our family. But we love each other and have worked hard to ensure that neurodiversity is not seen as something negative in our home.

We started a FB page, Our Journey on the Spectrum, five years ago to share our experiences and to offer encouragement as well as resources for the autism community.
I wrote a children’s book about Aaron and Bryant’s relationship. Autism doesn’t define sibling relationships. My book is available for purchase on my blog KPs World: http://www.kpsworld.org/KP-the-author/

Peace and Blessings,

KP

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