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My Younger Brother Ethan

In this blog, a big sister tells the story of her 23-year-old brother Ethan, who has "achieved everything they said he wasn't capable of."

This is my younger brother Ethan; he’s 23 and has Asperger’s which is a type of autism.  He was in Special Ed all though out school.  They told him he wouldn’t be able to graduate high school with a diploma, he would have to get a certificate.  After six years in high school and taking the high school exit exam eleven times he walked across that stage and got his diploma. They also thought he’d never get a drivers license.  We waited until he was 18 to get his permit, which he had for 4 years before he got his license. 

The county said the only job for him was putting stamps on mail and sorting things for VTC.  In this picture he’s holding his medical billing/coding certificate.  I’m not going to lie, helping him through school was one of the hardest and most frustrating things I have ever done.  There were times I felt defeated and didn’t think I was going to be able to teach him. There were days I would have rather walked across broken glass then walk back in that classroom with him and my poor friends had to hear all about it.  I can only imagine how hard it was for him.  But we did it…HE did it. 

One of the things I admire most about him is he tries so hard and has no idea it’s not normal to have to try so hard.  Not only has he tried hard, he has achieved. He has achieved everything they said he wasn’t capable of, a high school diploma, a divers license and now a college certificate.  I’d also like to add he graduated with his medical billing/coding certificate with a 3.96 GPA, nearly perfect attendance and a 98% average on his homework; that’s better than a most people do with out a disability.  We are currently working at French hospital….1 of the top 50 cardiac hospitals in the nation. 

I am so proud of him.  Let him be a lesson to everyone, just because someone tells you, you aren’t capable of something does NOT make them right.  You can achieve anything...with a little help from your family and friends. 

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.