David is a 25-year-old student at UAA who experiences bi-polar disorder as well as ADHD. Today he shares how these special needs and others have impacted his and his brother’s lives.
My brother and I were born a year and a month apart. Early on we showed signs of being a little more eccentric than other boys. When our parents split up it was harder for me than my brother as I had memories of our father. That’s when we moved to Alaska from the trailer park in Tennessee. We moved to Fairbanks to be close to our grandparents and we lived right down the street from them. Around then my mom who raised us alone had us checked for disabilities and thus found out that I had ADHD and my brother experiences high functioning autism.
Throughout schooling my brother and I soon found that we excelled at some things while we struggled in others. One thing that was always hard was making friends. So my brother and I would be the best of friends all throughout grade school. After a while, we moved to anchorage to find schools that offered better special needs resources and found ourselves at Tudor elementary. There a huge change in my brother’s life happened when he was under the care of a very special resource worker named Mr. Carey. My brother and Mr. Carey got along famously and with the help of speech therapy and starting counseling, he soon overcame his stutter and became more confident in his communication skills.
Trouble arose when we started high school, my brother had trouble with the classes and concentration, I myself had experienced some traumatic experiences and was soon diagnosed with bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder. I became so anxious with what was happening at home and in school that I couldn’t shower with my eyes closed because I was afraid that zombies would eat me. My brother and I began to drift apart because I started to develop mood swings and would be very unpleasant to my family. Soon thereafter I was at a breaking point and was sent to an inpatient treatment home to get better. I hated every step of it but it was a godsend. They adjusted my meds my mood became gradually more stable and my brother surprisingly was being supportive and said he missed me.
When I got out my brother and I started counseling therapy and began to get more in touch with how we feel. My brother continued his education through ACE program and I had to struggle to finish my high school diploma on time but we did it. After all we had been through, we both graduated. After I started college, my brother had started coming to Stone Soup Group and participating in the Wii club. He seemed to become even more so outgoing and it helped restore our friendship to what it was before.
Today my brother thrives at his job and at his paperclip artwork and paintings he does at Spark. And I have almost completed my associate’s degree at the University of Alaska Anchorage. In conclusion, we would not have made it as far as we did today with the adversities we faced if it were not for the friends and family that supported us. If not for individuals willing to make a difference in the lives of those with special needs or who just need a friend, many would be lost. I am thankful for my mom for standing by us and helping us by getting us into such programs and I thank the stars for Stone Soup Group who has provided for my family in more ways than one.
David, you are a talented writer. Thank you for sharing your story with us!