July 21, 2019

1619444_1458193974392565_151593820_nBradley Fremmerlid is a 25 year old non verbal autistic from Edmonton in Canada. Brad likes to build. The more complicated the building the better, which gave dad, Mark a great idea…

Anyone who has ever put up flat pack furniture knows just how much of a pain it can be. On the box the building time may say an hour, but drilling in things back to front, inside out or upside down is a common mistake made by, let’s face it , most of us.

Things are different for Bradley. Although he can’t read or speak, and uses simplified sign language to communicate – he can get a building schematic for anything from Lego to flat pack furniture right every time. Seeing the enjoyment his son Bradley got out of building, father Mark Fremmerlid wanted to support Bradley to be the best that he possibly could be, and so was born Made by Brad.

Autism Daily Newscast reported on Brad’s success a few weeks ago, we spoke exclusively to Bradley’s mother Debbie about the remarkable young man who has turned autism into a strength, thanks to the backing and guidance of his parents.

Debbie told us:

“As a very young child Brad needed to be kept busy and engaged with the world around him. We found it natural to share our interest with Brad. Brad would bake with me which lead to very messy sensory experiences in the kitchen. “

Bradley’s father Mark is a pilot, and is enthusiastic about model aircraft and vehicles. This is where the building started for Bradley, but it wasn’t all plain sailing:

“Brad enjoyed the models but he would want to leave before they were finished. A lot of work was done to keep him on task and focused. Mark introduced Lego as a teaching tool because of  the diagrams. Brad was taught to look to at each picture/ diagram, find the piece and assemble it in the right order. Brad  needed to be reminded to look at the instructions. Lego provided the needed structure with a wide variety sets. Brad’s building boxed furniture today is a result of years of training with these smaller projects.”

Brad was given a diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder  at age two, and diagnosed with autism at age seven. Debbie and Brad spent a week in the Autism Treatment Society in Calgary, Alberta. As he grew older Debbie and Mark also put a plan in place with Brad. She explains:

 “As parents we developed a program for them to follow which included sensory activities and building projects. Brad moved to Edmonton at the age of 15 due to his obsessive rituals and  the aggression that occurred if the rituals were interrupted. This made it difficult for Brad to function at home and at school.”

Part two of the interview posted tomorrow.


About the author 

Shân Ellis

Shân Ellis, is a qualified journalist with five years experience of writing features, blogging and working on a regional newspaper. Prior to working as a journalist, she was a ghost writer for top publishers and was closely involved in the editing and development of book series. Shân has a degree in the sciences, and 5 A levels. She lives in the UK and is the mother of an autistic child.

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