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Letter: Son got the help he needed here in Bemidji

Please allow me to correct some aspects of the front page story of the June 28 Pioneer regarding my son, Iann Brown.

Iann was not diagnosed with ADHD before being born. At 14 months of age Iann was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Following this, as he grew older and had more frequent health care visits, the possibility that he may have ADHD was brought up by the doctors as they observed that his level of activity and distractibility was quite excessive compared to that of his peers. I suppose the misunderstanding reported in the article came from the fact that during the interview, Iann spoke of the comment I sometimes make in jest that he had ADHD “in utero” because of his extremely high level of movement during the pregnancy. Over the years many other issues arose, many other challenges were faced, and many other diagnoses were given.

Thankfully, in 2010 when Iann was 24 years old, social services in Bemidji recognized that Iann needed more help in order to be successful, and Iann accepted the offer of moving into Adult Foster Care. It was a decision he made for himself. After about a year of learning, and working at the ODC, Iann made the decision to transition to independent living, with which he has been successful at this point.

As Iann continues to struggle with some aspects of independent living, as well as decision making and sociability, working part time at the ODC is one thing that allows him to have a sense of accomplishment and allows him, as he says, to be a contributing member of society. I am proud of the fact that Iann put forth the effort to overcome some of his challenges, and travel to Washington D.C. to represent himself, as well as his co-workers, and to support employment for all people with “disabilities” according to their real abilities.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those in Bemidji who have given our family tremendous support and assistance over the years, including Dr. Skogerboe, who listened to a mother’s concerns all those years ago; Richard Chernugal at MedSave Family Pharmacy, who recognized my voice on the phone before the prevalence of caller ID and still calls me by name when I walk in the door; and many, many others in the wonderful Bemidji community.

Becky Brown