A little inspiration in regards to autism...

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Sparky
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A little inspiration in regards to autism...

Post by Sparky »

Greetings to all,

Fair warning... this post has ZERO to do with pinball. It has something to do with my son Brian, who has autism. I will write this post in both French and English in order to maybe give a Little hope and inspiration to all parents out there with a child with autism.

Avertissement... ce texte n'a RIEN à voir avec les pinballs. Ceci est plutôt par rapport à mon fils Brian, qui est autiste. Je vais écrire ce post dans les deux langues afin de possiblement donner un peu d'espoir et inspiration aux parents avec un enfant autiste.

Brian was diagnosed when he was 5 years old. We noticed that something was wrong as he was not communicating much, if at all. We had noticed some problems when he was younger, such as difficulty eating anything, some nervous ticks and such, but not knowing what was going on was a bit frightening. The thoughts immediately crossed my mind... we all tend to imagine the worst... being non-autonomous, or almost locked up. It was a shock. But a lot of encouragement from a few members (you know who you are...), and a lot of reading, and things became clearer. There was one instance I will never forget... it was at one of Starburst Toronto's famous backyard auctions. I was chatting with Bish at the time and he gave me some amazing advice, having a child of his own with autism. From that point, I read dozens of books, attended seminars and therapy groups, and spent enough on specialists to make anyone cringe.

Brian a été diagnostiqué quand il avait 5 ans. Nous avons remarqué que quelque chose n'allait pas et ile ne communiquait pas beaucoup, voir du tout. On avait remarqué des situations quand il était plus jeune, comme des difficultés à manger, des tiques nerveux, etc, mais ne sachant pas ce qu'il se passait faisait peur. Les pensées sont venes... on tend à imaginer le pire... être non-autonome, ou presque interné. C'était un choc. Mais avec beaucoup d'encouragement de membres (vous savez qui vous êtes), et beaucoup de lecture, et les choses se sont éclaircies. Il y avait un moment dont je n'oublierai jamais... c'était pendant un des fameux encans de cour chez Starburst Toronto. I jasait avec Bish et il m'a donné de précieurx conseils, ayant lui même un enfant autiste. À partir de ce moment, j'ai lu plein de livres, suivi des cours et groupes de thérapie, et dépensé assez sur des spécialistes au point d'en faire brailler.

I won't lie... there were some dark periods, like 3rd grade. Brian had a lot of problems focusing and communicating, all the while we were trying to find the right medication to help him just enough, without turning him into a robot. I wanted Brian to be Brian... the good and the bad. A year later, we had a huge breakthrough. He started progressing at a furious speed, fueled by encouragement and him finally believing that ... yes... he CAN.

Je ne mentirai pas... il y avait des périodes sombres.. comme la 3eme année. Brian avait beaucoup de problèmes à focuser et communiquer, tout en essayant de trouver la bonne médication pour l'aider juste assez, sans le virer en robot. Je voulais Brian à demerer Brian... le bon et le mauvais. Un an plus tard on a fait une percée. Il al progressé à une vitesse fulgurante, poussé par notre encouragement et lui-même finalement croyant que.. oui... IL PEUT.

Brian is now in 5th grade... and has been nominated to apply for an advanced program for smart kids in high school. But in order to apply, he had to write a letter to the teachers explaining why he wishes to apply. And I did what I had to do as a parent...

... I let HIM write the letter. And the kid that had trouble writing a sentenceless than 2 years ago wrote this... and I am not kidding. I can scan his hand written letter:

Brian est maintenant en 5eme année... et a été nommé pour appliquer sur un programme pour élèves doués au secondaire. Mais pour adhérer, il devait écrire une lettre aux professeurs expliquant pourquoi il voulait appliquer. Et j'ai fait ce que je devais comme parent...

... je l'ai laissé écrire la lettre LUI-MÊME. Et le garçon qui avait de la misère à écrire une phrase il y a deux ans a écrit le suivant... et je ne niaise pas. Je peux le prouver. J'ai la lettre écrite à la main.:

Chers enseignants,
Bonjour. Je me présente. Mon nom est Brian Fitzpatrick et je vous écris cette lettre afin de vous convaincre de me choisir pour faire parti du Programme Everest. J'aimerais décrire pourquoi ceci serait très important pour moi et comment ceci pourrait m'aider.

Pour commencer, j'aimerais me décrire un peu. Je suis en garçon qui aime beaucoup les sciences et apprendre de nouvelles choses me rend très heureux. Je suis très gentil et je suis très bon à l'école en sciences, univers social, mathématiques et anglais. C'est une des raisons pourquoi j'aimerais être dans Everest, car les notions que j'apprends sont parfois un peu simple par rapport à ce que je connais déjà.

Deuxièmement, cela m'aiderait à ma faiblesse, mon Français, incluant ma calligraphie. à cause de mon autisme, j'ai travaillé très fort à m'améliorer, et je veux continuer.

Aussi, je serais dans une classe où les autres me ressemblent. Cela me ferait des amis et le monde se moquerait moins de moi et de mes différences. Je me faisais intimider de temps en temps depuis ma maternelle, soit à cause de mes difficultés que j'ai améliorer, ou parce que j'étais trop avancé.

En conclusion, être dans le programme Everest ferait un impact important et positif dans ma vie et me rendrait plus proche de mon métier de rêve, astronaute.

Merci d'avoir lu mon texte et j'espère qu'il vous aide dans votre décision.

Merci.

Brian Fitzpatrick

(Translated)
Dear teachers,

Hello. I will present myself. My name is Brian Fitzpatrick and I am writing you this letter in order to convince you to choose me for the Everest program. I would like to describe why this would be important to me and how it could help me.

To start, I would like to describe myself. I am a boy that loves science and learning new things makes me happy. I am a nice boy and I am good in school in science, history, mathematics and English. It is one of the reasons why I would like to be in the Everest program, because the lessons I lean in school can be a bit simple compared to what I know already.

Second, it would help me where I need it, in French, including my handwriting. Due to my autism, I have worked very hard to improve, and I want to continue to do so.

Also, I would be in a class where others are like me. I wold make friends and people would laugh less at me and my différences. I have been bullied from time to time since kindergarten, either due to my difficulties, or due to me being way ahead of others.

In conclusion, being in the Everest program would make an important and positive impact in my life and would make me one step closer to my dream job, being an astronaut.

Thank you for reading my letter and I hope it help you in your decision.

Thank you.

Brian Fitzpatrick



This comes from the boy that early on, people dismissed. I never gave up. And any parent that has an autistic child should not either. There will be difficult times... hang in there. There is hope.

This is me paying it forward to guys like Bish... if anyone needs help, I am there.

Ceci vient d'un garçon qui au tout début, plusieurs le mettaient de côté. Je n'ai jamais abandonné. Et tout parent avec un enfant autiste ne devrait pas non plus. Ne lâchez pas. Il y a toujours espoir.

Et avec ce texte, je redonne au suivant comme Bish. Si quelqu'un a besoin d'aide, je suis là pour aider.


... never give up on someone. They may surprise you.
... ne jamais abandonner sur quelqu'un. Ils peuvent vous surprendre.


Sorry for the long post. Hope it "reaches" people. We all can use some positive vibes at times.

Ian
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OTTOgd
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Re: A little inspiration in regards to autism...

Post by OTTOgd »

Thanks for sharing the great news!

My son is in the 4th grade and is considered 'gifted' and might be placed in special schooling as well. We'll see!

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Re: A little inspiration in regards to autism...

Post by Azatotht »

Je suis vraiment fier de toi Brian, je suis sûr que papa te fera lire ça ;-)

C'est vrai que les enfants nous surprennent, ils sont plus forts qu'on le pense. C'est un fantastique exemple, avec le support, tout est possible !

Je suis content pour vous, bravo de votre dévouement.
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Re: A little inspiration in regards to autism...

Post by Joce »

:thumbup Bravo Ian....et Brian. Il ne faut jamais abandonner !!!!

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Re: A little inspiration in regards to autism...

Post by WARLOCK »

Brother, I am as pleased as most others will be about Brian.
Well done to you and your family. Keep up the great inspiration.

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Re: A little inspiration in regards to autism...

Post by Chris Silver »

That's fantastic Ian. Every time I met Brian he was always fun and pleasant. It gives me a little bit of hope for the one of my four boys with issues. Besides being misdiagnosed for years, our boy is somewhere on the spectrum along with half a dozen other probabilities. It sure as hell isn't easy on him or a parent and believe me very hard being a stepparent. A child is a child and they're all beautiful. Many times it's not easy for me to understand but you've posted a very inspirational thread. Thanks.
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Re: A little inspiration in regards to autism...

Post by Guard »

Nice. Be proud...
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Re: A little inspiration in regards to autism...

Post by Patrab »

C’est fantastique,Ian. Tu as de quoi être fier de ton fils et aussi de ce que vous avez fait pour lui.
Bonne chance!

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Re: A little inspiration in regards to autism...

Post by Sparky »

Well, as much as I appreciate the comments, the goal of the post wasn't to brag. It was to inspire others. Never give up. And if you feel like you are about to, there are 3000+ members here... I am sure that whatever is troubling you can be helped by someone here.

And someone asked me a very good question privately... why don't I just send Brian to English school. Well, the answer is rather simple. Number one, as much as our family name is Irish, if I go back 4 generations, my relatives were all French, other than my paternal great-grandfather, Hugh Fitzpatrick. And even that could have changed as he was one of many potato famine orphans, having been shipped on a boat across the Atlantic when he was 5, after my great great grandparents passed away. He was adopted by the Leclerc family, which gratiously let him keep his family name. Other than that, my relatives are Therrien, Lamoureux, Ruel, Mantha, Gauthier, Légaré... and my wife is French as well, a Simon... you get the picture. So, as much as I have been lovingly called "osti d'Anglais" in the past and even today (LOL), the fact remains that I cherish my French heritage, and I want to pass that on to my kids, which ALL attend French school. If I were to do otherwise, I would not feel right towards my family heritage.

Other point, I am a firm believer that learning more than one language can only be an advantage. If I have the job I have today, it is because I am bilingual. And I intend to hopefully teach my kids more languages, as even I love to learn them. Next on my list for myself is German. I would love for my kids to learn Spanish later on.
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Re: A little inspiration in regards to autism...

Post by Guard »

No one thinks you are bragging.......being proud is perfectally acceptable.

My kids were blessed with parents who didn't speak a word of the others language when we met, and being perfectly bilingual has been great for them.

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Re: A little inspiration in regards to autism...

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Re: A little inspiration in regards to autism...

Post by sylvain »

Bravo Brian!

With a dream, passion, drive, confidence in yourself, keeping positive in face of challenges, and some hard work, I am convinced you will succeed!

Bonne chance et continue ton rêve, prends patience, et surtout ne te laisse pas arrêter par les mauvaises langues ou ceux/celles qui ne croient pas en toi.

Ian: Je suis d'accord, bravo pour continuer de l'encourager - en plus, c'est bien vrai qu'apprendre plusieurs langues ouvre bien des portes plus tard dans la vie.

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Re: A little inspiration in regards to autism...

Post by Honey Badger »

Very happy to read this!
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Re: A little inspiration in regards to autism...

Post by TwilightZone »

Big props to Brain. One of my nephews has similar challenges and is making great progress as well. Next year he will be doing a victory lap to open up more options and looking to go to college. Supportive family is so important.
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Re: A little inspiration in regards to autism...

Post by aerostarz »

Thanks for posting this Ian.

My 12 yr old son Kyle is autistic and on the medium scale. My family is going through a large amount of turmoil and are always continuously looking into therapy, consultations and behavioral health sessions etc. Its a mad roller coaster ride from the time he gets up till he goes to sleep. I wont get into how it affects the rest of us here.

My wife is a member of Autism Ontario and is always searching for options to assist our son.
Anyhow i appreciate you taking the time to post this.

thanks

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