Mental Illness is complicated and there is still a lot we do not know about it. We do not know the exact cause, it is difficult to diagnose, and there is no cure. The same things can be said for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). My son Bryce is diagnosed with both mental illness and ASD. It is common for someone with autism to have co-occurring disorders. It is also common for someone with mental illness or ASD to be diagnosed with one condition and have their diagnoses change throughout their life. 

Bryce has received treatment since he was a young child. He has attended The Frost School, a nonpublic special education day school and part of the Sheppard Pratt Health System, since he was in the 4th grade. Although he will always live with mental illness and ASD, he learns to cope and manage his conditions, and with medication and treatment has made great progress.

Although Bryce is doing well, living with mental illness and ASD has its challenges. One of his symptoms includes perseverating and having difficulty with logic and reasoning. Right now, Bryce is obsessed with buying vintage video games, and gets upset and angry when he cannot get what he “needs.” A positive about this though, is that he wants to earn money. I told him I earn money by writing. Bryce asked if he could also. I told him, “sure.” He asked me what he could write about it. I told him, how about if he wrote about having Autism. He agreed, asked his dad to set him up with Word on the computer. What he wrote was AMAZING. It shocked me. Because Bryce NEEDED money, he wrote.    

Here is Bryce - in his own words, the way he wrote it. There is so much to learn from Bryce.

Living With Autism

 Hi i'm a student at the frost school and i have been at frost for 5 years now and this school has turned my life around.

 back when i was in my old school people used to

Make fun of me because i had autism.

but when i came to the frost school everything changed all the staff and students respected me and the staff gave me all of the help and support i needed.

 Back then i would have gotten angry if I had to do a worksheet or a quiz. but when i came to the frost school i learned how to control my anger by   taking deep breaths   or going on breaks with the staff so i can tell them how I feel. 

When middle school graduation came around i was proud of myself i completed my goal.

I learned to control my anger  focus on my work and not sit there and do nothing the whole class. 

On my first day of high school it was nerve racking with new classes new students but then i had to get used to keeping track of my things such as my lunch box jacket and my key. Then whenever i pass my old classroom i think to myself this school    

      i would never would have made it this far without this school without it I would have never been able to control my anger or learn any coping skills.

One thing good about frost is work day in work day you can learn life skills such as weeding mowing raking and so much more   but after workday is pe

That is where everyone gets too competitive people start bragging saying you suck and other words that make people mad.   so treat others how you want to be treated.

Sometimes people on the bus scream and make noise and it can be annoying  but hey sometimes in life your going to have to go through things you don't want to go through.

By bryce greenberg

There are so many good lessons in there! Live by the golden rule. Be resilient when people scream on the bus. Be proud of your accomplishments. More importantly, he has learned to cope with challenges. What Bryce has learned are lessons that every kid needs to learn, not just those with special needs. Maybe what I have learned from reading this, is that all of our kids should take lessons from Bryce!

I sure do love this kid. And I know that this kid, this kid who used to struggle so much, is going to be OK!


Tracy Greenberg has become a strong part of the Sheppard Pratt community. She is mother to Bryce, who attends The Frost School, part of the Sheppard Pratt Health System.

Comments

Posted by Deborah Plenn on

Tracy, you and Terry must be very proud of Bryce. You guys have done a great job of parenting your kids. I loved what he wrote.

Posted by Deborah Plenn on

Tracy, you and Terry must be very proud of Bryce. You guys have done a great job of parenting your kids. I loved what he wrote.

Posted by Bill Greenberg on

Well said Bryce you are a great grandson. Love you and caint Waite to see you down here in sunny and warm Florida.
Love Pop Pop

Posted by Pepi H Wucher on

That is Amazing! Bryce's words were perfect in explaining how he feels and looks at the world. Just wonderful.

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