For Brandon’s 35th birthday, he and his mother Donna celebrated with an overnight in Boston, including dinner and a rock concert featuring Queen.
It was a world away from the day, three decades earlier, when Brandon was diagnosed with autism. Donna was told that he would never acquire language skills, or be able to go to school. It was suggested that she place him in an institution. “No one was talking about autism back then,” she remembers, “so I had no reference point.”
But the family didn’t give up. When Brandon was 5, he began receiving therapy from May Institute — as one of the first children enrolled in home-based services. Donna believes those services “saved her son’s life.”
Today, Brandon not only enjoys an occasional rock concert, but is successfully employed, runs marathons, and is a social, articulate, thoughtful, loving man. “It’s important to me to be a good person,” he explains. “Treat others well. Be helpful. Spend time with my family and do things that make me happy.”
Freedom from total reliance on others