Peter and his mother were in crisis. At Eva’s, they found the help they needed to prevent his homelessness.
Peter’s story is told by his mother.
“My 18-year-old son’s lack of ambition, drug use and poor choice of friends were key stressors in our family. I took sleeping pills every night and I cried often. I placed the phone on my bed so I could answer it when, or if, he called at times that he was out all night.
“Then, through a friend, I learned about the Family Reconnect Program. The counselor asked intelligent questions about the situation and gave me the hope I so desperately needed. I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders, having connected with someone who not only seemed to care but who could actually give us some guidance and much-needed support.
“The counselor came to our home for a family session. My son slumped in the chair and ‘hid’ in his hoodie. The counselor solicited information from him in a friendly, non-threatening manner. After the session, the counselor and I spoke alone. She was fairly certain his behaviours were not a result of drug use. Although she was not in a position to make a diagnosis, she felt he may be suffering with a mental health issue.
“The next step was to get a psychological and psychiatric examination. We met with wonderful professionals who were ‘kid-friendly’. I filled out a questionnaire about Asperger’s Syndrome* and was stunned that I could answer “yes” to almost every question. We were then presented with a comprehensive analysis of my son’s testing. The counselor and I attended a workshop at the Geneva Centre for Autism about Asperger’s* and, with my son, connected with the Hawkins Institute for employment training.
“The diagnosis of Asperger’s* shed light on so many of my son’s past and present behaviours and has given both of us a fresh start. He no longer feels he is ‘stupid’ or ‘weird’ but realizes how Asperger’s Syndrome* affects him and what he needs to make life more productive and comprehensible. As for me, I no longer need sleeping pills or have the phone by the bed awaiting his call. Understanding Asperger’s Syndrome* has given me patience and understanding and has enhanced communication with my son in ways that make his life … and mine … run more smoothly!”
*In 2013, the DSM-5 replaced Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders with the umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. We haven’t altered the language provided by the clients as to not censor the voices of (dis)abled peoples and their families.