In Words – Kevin Healey’s Autobiography
When I was a child I knew my brother and I were different. He was more affected with autism than I. Sometimes in my life I wished we could have changed places or swap bodies. I didn’t want him to be trapped in his own world as much as I wanted to disappear in my own world so many times.
I questioned why Shaun and I are on the autistic spectrum. My parents Margaret and Patrick had their hands full with looking after four children, especially Shaun. My mum and dad had to come into school because of my difficulties and misunderstandings, sometimes I would get frustrated knowing that Shaun had to go to a different school I was aware that Shaun was different. Children used to make fun of him. They called Shaun & I names & I had no friends. I realised that Shaun will have his condition for the rest of his life. I could never interact with Shaun. Growing up was really hard. I thank my mum and my dad for their love regardless of what they went though with me and Shaun.
I am so thankful for my older brother Mark. He had friends and allowed me to play with them. The only friend I had in school was a boy named David. The situation changed in high school. David had to go to different classes and we didn’t spend as much time together as before. My brother Mark never let me down at school. He helped me when I got bullied. Mark got in fights to protect me.
My sister Julie was named after my dad’s mother. My parents had three sons and one daughter. The new situation with a new baby was hard for Shaun. He craved for attention, but my mum had to give their attention to the newborn as well. I got on with my sister very well. When I was a teenager I was still immature like a child. I liked to play with my sister’s friends, even if they were ten years younger then me. I played games with them or hide and seek. Even today, my sister is a big support for me. Julie is so warm hearted and full of understanding for me and my brother’s condition.
Coping with Autism & Aspergers
I always wanted to help other people when i was a child. Even today i feel that there are still people out there without a diagnosis. Some of them might have suicidal thoughts but even if a person is down and depressed he/she should know that there is help. As long as i live i will not let anyone down who is in need of help. If i hadn’t received my diagnoses of Asperger I would have taken a different path. There wouldn’t be Staffordshire Adults Autistic Society, as my diagnosis was the turning point of my life. I always knew that there was something wrong with me. I felt trapped and lonely in a world of my own. Asperger as become apart of my life now, I am now a more positive and mentally stronger person. I am confident to go on a stage and speak in front of hundreds of people. I may be nervous but I have to do this, I feel I am a voice speaking for people with Autism and asperger.
I thank all the people who helped me during the time setting up support for autistic people. But what is a support group without members? I want to take this opportunity to thank each single person for his or her presence in my life. Thank you for sharing your sorrows and concerns, but also your happiness and good moods. I hope we can work together to make a better future for people on the Autistic spectrum.