This month’s share your story guest is an awesome one! Her name is Catherine W. and she is the daughter of the amazing Marci W., of What’s For Dinner Moms! Catherine wrote all about what life is like being the sibling of a brother who has Autism. She was 7 and her brother 4 when he was diagnosed. You can see a picture below of them that was taken a week after his diagnosis and a picture of them now. I absolutely loved reading this post and getting the insight from a sibling. It makes me truly see how my daughter may feel. Thanks so much Catherine for sharing your story with us!
My name is Catherine, I am 16, and I have a younger brother, George, who is 13. George is Autistic. Having a sibling with Autism can be frustrating at times, but really George and I are like any other normal siblings. We argue and bicker over strange things like characters in TV shows and movies, who is better at doing something, and who has to do what chores after dinner each night. We don’t do much together now that we are both older and have separate interests. We do share some interests though such as Disney and Harry Potter. Another common interest we share right now is the Musical “Hamilton: An American Musical.” Back to having silly arguments, my brother and I wanted to see who the better rapper was, so we sang the song “Alexander Hamilton” from “Hamilton: An American Musical.” He thinks he is the better rapper but I know I am.
When I was younger I think that my brother’s Autism had more of an effect on me. When my brother was first diagnosed I was seven or eight so it was difficult for me to grasp the full concept of what Autism is and how my brother’s brain works. And it still is. Sometimes when my brother would have a meltdown in the middle of a public place we would have to leave if we were only with one of my parents. Most of the time we would be with both of my moms and one mom would stay in the restaurant or wherever we were with me. Occurrences like this would usually happen when we changed our plans. I never understood why this would affect him so much. It just never made any sense to me. His out bursts would always upset me because I didn’t want him to be upset. Mainly, I just did not get why the littlest things bugged him so much. One time we were at the zoo and we were supposed to eat there from the concessions stand. We were with friends that day, so we decided that we were going to leave the zoo to go out to lunch and maybe go back to the zoo later. George did not like this because it was a change. He wanted to stay at the zoo and eat there. He had a meltdown in the middle of the zoo and had to be taken out of the park screaming. I was a little embarrassed because everyone was staring at us. I was also angry because we didn’t get to go out to lunch that day. We didn’t get to go out to eat with our friends, but I got to go to McDonald’s, so my eight year old self was happy even though I was angry that we had to leave our friends.
As I have gotten older his outbursts and tantrums have become easier for me to deal with. I still don’t like them, but now I know why he acts the way he does.
A lot of the time I am frustrated, but not with my brother. I am frustrated with the people that shut him down or talk over him because he is different from them. George doesn’t have the best people skills, but they have improved so much over the past few years. People obviously don’t know that though. Sometimes all people see is that he is loud, obnoxious, and talks too much. I will agree that he is loud and does talk a lot, but most of the time he doesn’t realize that he is talking too loud and too much. Again, he has improved so much. I wish people would give him a chance and get to know him. Then they would know he is an amazing cello player, he loves Star Wars and Legos, and that he is probably one of the smartest people they’ll ever meet.
George might annoy me to my wits end sometimes, but I love him and I am proud to call him my younger brother.