The Carson Foundation was founded in July 2006. Our charity was named after Brian Carson, who is now 19 years old, and his family. It was through their dedication and hard work with Brian that encouraged us to start a charity to better assist families who have children with special needs.
Brian was diagnosed with Autism at 3 years old. Before being diagnosed, Brian was fully verbal and progressing as any infant should. As he turned 3, Brian began to regress and start to disconnect himself from the world around him. As any mother would be, Angie Carson was concerned and brought her son for tests. After coming to terms with the fact that Brian was diagnosed with Autism, Angie immediately began searching for organizations that could help her son obtain the quality of life he deserved.
As Brian grew older his challenges became harder for Angie to handle. Angie assumed the role of a single mother, since her husband worked afternoons. Angie was solely responsible for Brian’s care every day after school. Brian’s vocabulary was limited to very few words and often became very frustrated when he was not able to communicate his needs. He would often show this frustration by banging on walls or furniture.
As the challenges with Brian continued to grow, Angie continued to find the support that was best for her son, and best for her family. Angie fought for his rights in the school system, community programs, and always made sure he had a private worker to give her respite so she had time to care for her other child, as well as, simple tasks such as shopping or paying bills.
When Brian started to reach his teenage years his aggression towards family members began to escalate. His needs became far greater and it was becoming more challenging to care for him on a regular basis. Angie was fortunate enough to get Brian into a weekend respite program in Toronto where he would go for one weekend each month.
After many struggles with Brian through his teenage years, Angie fought to get Brian into a three-month program at TRIAD where he would live and have his behaviours observed on a daily basis with hopes that they could help Brian with his outbursts.
After his program was repeatedly extended due to Brian going back to his old ways as soon as he was brought back home, it was decided that the best option for Brian's quality of life was to have him live full time at TRIAD. Brian has now been there for 3 years and has taken steps in his behaviour that is even difficult for his own mother who knew him best to believe.
Angie has watched her son grow into a young adult whose outbursts are kept to a bare minimum, and who can communicate what he needs and does so without frustration. Angie makes sure to visit Brian on a regular basis, has him come visit his family at home each week, and is sure to play an important role in decisions regarding Brian.
Angie has always made sure that she found every organization that could help her son, and every last penny of funding to make sure that he could lead a life worth living, and take part in community activities like any other boy his age. At many times the funding and programs she found still was not enough to meet Brian's needs. Angie also found it very exhausting at times fighting to get Brian accepted into programs, or accepted for funding, due to extensive applications and interview processes. However, she never gave up and in most cases received the support she and Brian deserved.
Our charity uses Angie's determination as a model for us to provide families with a no hassle approach to obtain funding for their families and in the future programs that individuals with special needs in the community can take advantage of.
We thank the Carson Family for giving us their story and family name to help us put together a organization that can give families the same services Angie had to fight long and hard for.