This is the second month sharing another persons story of Autism. This months share your story comes from the wonderful Simone W. of Peaches and Puzzles. She talks about siblings of a person with Autism. Not only is she the mother of a child with Autism, but her brother was diagnosed with Autism as a child. I hope you enjoy her story as much as I did. Also, make sure to check out her Facebook page right here, Peaches and Puzzles.
Hello, My name is Simone and I run a Facebook page called Peaches and Puzzles, where I talk about life raising my son Zae whom has autism.
But this post isn’t about him…….okay kinda. Maybe? Let’s just dive in shall we?
This post is about siblings of children who have autism. I’m not going to quote any great authors or say any fancy names. This post is truly about my personal experience being a sibling and raising one.
My little brother was diagnosed with autism when he was 3 years old. I was 6. At the time I didn’t know about autism, but I knew my brother was different. I picked up very quickly that a lot of my parents attention went to him. Which in return caused me to act up. I remember one day my brother pulled my hair and wouldn’t let go. I hit him and he began to cry but I got in trouble for hitting. I ran into my room and screamed ” I WISH I WAS RETARTED!” My mother walked in with a face I can barely described. She was shocked and heartbroken. She knew then we needed the autism talk. She told me my brother was not retarded he just learned differently and doesn’t understand some things and we have to help him learn. As I grew older I began to understand him more, we grew so close to the point when we went out to eat I told my mom what he wanted to order. I grew to love his classmates and his friends and growing up with him has truly formed me into the person I am today. There were times that weren’t so pretty in our home. We had a trip to Chicago when I was 15, can you say FUN!!! But after a few days my brother was over it and wanted to go home. We all wanted to stay but we left because HE wanted to go. Same with fast food. If me and my sister wanted Micky D’s and he wanted Burger King, guess what…..we go Burger King. Why? To prevent meltdowns. I still see my little 24yr old brother every day. He goes to a day program for adults with special needs and the van picks him up from my house. He’s doing great and I couldn’t be more proud to be his sister.
Fast forward to my son Zae, he was diagnosed when he was about 2 and my daughter “Lady” was 1. Things were okay at first because they were both “babies”. But now they are 4 and 5 things have changed. Just like my parents did, a lot of our attention goes to Zae. From potty training, to meltdowns, potty training (for the 1000000th time).
I feel very bad for my daughter often because I see she is going through what I went through. During meltdowns I tell her to “Go”. Mainly for her safety but it still feels like I’m being mean to her and ignoring her. But just like growing up with my brother formed me, I see my little 4 yr old evolving. When he sneezes she runs to wipe his nose. She brings me his diapers to change him. She tries to feed him when he’s stubborn. She is truly amazing. Me and my husband are doing our best to let her know we don’t love Zae more, but sometimes he needs us a little more.
It’s a struggle to find balance and now that I’m pregnant with another little girl she will have to grow and understand as well.
No parent is perfect. We do our best to live our daily autism filled lives and keep everybody happy. Some days suck, others are amazing.
Just make sure everybody feels loved.