Asperger’s Teen Turns Life Around

brendenpic-300x300Since 2005, Freehold teenager Brendan Edgeworth has been training directly under the staff at Art Beins Karate in Freehold. I am proud to say that he has transformed into a dedicated, hardworking young man. In years past, he had a challenging time controlling his emotions and often struggled when reprimanded for his actions. Despite the difficulties he faces coping with Asperger’s Syndrome, Brendan has flourished and overcame great obstacles throughout his training. Even when times were tough, his mom and dad always stood by to support and encourage Brendan to never give up! It is my great pleasure to announce that Brendan will be taking his Black Belt pretest this month. Below are some personal thoughts Brendan would like to share about dealing with Asperger’s Syndrome:

Asperger’s Syndrome, by traditional terms, is “a mild form of autism characterized by difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, and by restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior or interests”. In simpler terms, it’s a diagnosis in which someone has a hard time interacting with others. I say this because, as a child and even now, I’ve experienced the symptoms of Asperger’s before. Although Asperger’s has had a negative impact in my life, I’ve learned to overcome it through the activities I take part in.

When I was very young, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and the symptoms have always had a powerful affect on me. It has always been difficult to communicate with others and make friends. I was pretty awkward in certain social situations and often said things I didn’t understand. I didn’t take up any activities because I never felt confident nor had any indication on what I wanted to with my life.

This all changed when I took on a number of new activities starting with karate. Many of the activities I’ve taken up helped enforce essential life lessons and have helped me combat my Asperger’s. Karate was the first activity I took up, which I give to as the reason why I took on many other activities. Karate enforced a high moral standard in my life and encouraged me to take confidence in what I do as long as it is with good intentions. After several years of working in Karate, I became actively involved in cross country when I entered middle school. Cross country taught me the price of success, which is a strenuous effort. It also taught me to maintain a balance while stressing the importance of individual efforts and team work. Both of which cross country stressed a lot of importance on.

I also became actively involved in the Saint Roberts Church’s Youth Group when I entered high school Youth Group gave me a sense of spiritual morality and always stressed the benefits of helping others. These activities also helped me combat my Asperger’s and gave me an indication of what I want to do with my life. After first taking Karate, I felt much more confident in myself and I pursued the goal of making friends and doing better in school. As I took up other activities, it became easier to be more social

I give credit to these activities for helping me turn my life around and combat my Asperger’s. Although it seems as if I’m giving a lot of credit to these activities, I’m just sharing my experience in the hopes that others will read this and be encouraged to do whatever sensible thing they can to overcome whatever obstacles they have to deal with.

Although I still have a while before I gain full confidence and determine what I want to achieve, I now have the knowledge I need to lay the foundation of success in my life for the future.

By Brenden Edgeworth

Source: Monmouth Happening Magazine