First, I would like to give you a little biography on my brother, Thomas. Thomas was born July 11, 1988. Right away, our family knew something wasn't quite right. Thomas was tested for blindness and hearing impairment, but both tests came back normal. All of Thomas's developmental stages were delayed. He did not speak until age 4. My mother sought additional testing from the preschool special education program and Thomas was placed in special education at the age of 3. Thomas also had a seizure disorder; compact partial seizures. Because no one knew for sure what was wrong with Thomas, my mother never allowed the doctors or teachers to medicate him - which, being a special education teacher myself - I fully support!
Throughout Thomas's school years, doctors and specialists were unable to diagnose Thomas because no one truly knew what was going on. He was diagnosed with everything from mental retardation to learning disabilities to ADHD. However, it was not until Thomas's was 13 years old, that he was diagnosed with a high functioning form of autism with severe learning disabilities, speech language impairment. He also struggles with anxiety, OCD, and a distortion of fantasy from reality.
Currently, Thomas has a case manager provided through AWARE. He is currently on a list of services provided through MONA, which provides services such as transportation, assisted living, etc.
In high school, Thomas excelled in speech and drama. He is a talented actor. He can memorize movies and act them out word for word. Thomas currently lives at home. He is a green belt in karate. In the summer, he works in my family lawn business and also works at Subway on the weekends. Thomas volunteers at our local library. Thomas enjoys watching movies, TV, and playing XBOX. Most of all, he enjoys his art. Thomas wants to make a future as an artist. He is currently creating a comic book.