If You Give A Girl A Brother With Autism, You Create One Proud And Loving Sister

If You Give A Girl A Brother With Autism, You Create One Proud And Loving Sister

To all the proud sisters in the world watching their little brother with autism become who he is meant to be.

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If you give a girl a brother with autism, she's going to ask a lot of questions.

When my little brother was growing up, I always knew he was different from my friend's brothers. My brother did not like loud sounds or too many people talking at once. Why? Because Zachary has something called overactive senses, or sensory processing disorder, and when too many things were happening at once he experienced sensory overload.

When she asks questions, she wants the answers in detail.

What is a sensory processing disorder? This is when someone experiences trouble organizing all the information about all the different stimuli around them. Sometimes it feels like lights are flashing, everyone around you is yelling, people are poking you and you can't think straight. This can be very frustrating and lead to meltdowns to tune out all the overwhelming stimuli.

She wants the answers in detail because she knows other people are going to ask a lot of questions.

Why is your brother so quiet? Why doesn't he look at you when you talk to him? Why does he "flap" his hands back and forth and rub his eyes so often? Why does he always look like he is talking to himself? From a young age, I could answer all of these questions with ease and simple language.

When people ask me questions about my brother and his behavior, I willing to answer. There have been times, especially when my brother was really little, he would have a meltdown in the grocery store and people would yell at my mom to get her son under control. These are not the kind of people who seek to be understanding. Those who seek to be understanding to not stare and point, but ask questions to help them understand.

If you give a girl a brother with autism, she's going to become very protective.

When my family moved to Mexico City for two years, my brother was in middle school. We went to visit two schools to pick which one we wanted to attend once we moved there. The first school was tolerating and willing to help Zachary with his IEP and provide accommodations to the learning environment.

The second school took one look at my brother and told my parents, "We will take your daughters but not your son." The school that turned my brother away had a more rigorous curriculum and would have provided me with better opportunities after high school, but there was no way I was going to a different school than my little brother.

She is very protective because she cares.

Most big sisters are protective over their little brothers until a certain age. When Zach and I were young we didn't get along very well, but that never bothered me. I still would go to the ends of earth making sure my brother wasn't getting bullied at school and following up with his teachers making sure he was turning in his homework. Even my little sister, Danielle, who is younger than Zachary is protective of him.

If you give a girl a brother with autism, she will watch as he grows into the amazing person he is meant to become with beaming pride.

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10 Things You've Said If You're Freakishly Close With Your Sibling

You can't choose your family but you can choose your friends.

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It's true, siblings are equally your best friend and sworn enemy. It's also true that you probably can't imagine life without them. They might annoy you, beat you up, call you names, and get you in trouble, but in the end, the pros outweigh the cons. You can't get rid of them so you might as well reap the benefits of having a life-long confidant. As we've got older, my brother and I have learned to coexist more peacefully than in the past. One might even consider us friends. Our bickering has turned into playful banter and our inside jokes have only become more exclusive.

This week, I decided to focus on the benefits of having a sibling. Younger or older, you've probably found yourself asking or saying these things to your sibling once or twice.

1. "Mom, where is (name)?"


You probably like to keep tabs on their whereabouts just in case you need them at any given moment. You also constantly worry about them, which is your excuse for always asking this question.

2. "Want to hang out?"


There is nothing better than quality time with your sibling. Even if that just means snap chatting each other while you're sitting in the same room.

3. "Add me on Find My Friends."

Specifically referring to younger siblings, the older they get, the more protective you get. This also comes in handy when you're bored and want to know how long it will be until they get home.

4. "I'll only go if you go."

We usually send (& receive) these texts most when our parents ask us to accompany them on a family outing. If I'm going to suffer, then so are they. You also know, having them there will make everything more fun.

5. "Get in my Snapchat."

They make your Snapchats 100% better by just being in them.

6. "What time will you be home?"

They know the second they get home from a night out, you'll want details and gossip.

7. "Do you need a ride home?"

You're willing to do them favors, not only because you care about them but because that just means more time to hang out and jam in the car.

8. "Invite your friends over tonight."

If you're friends with your sibling, this probably means you're friends with their friends too. You've successfully managed to double your inner circle.

9. "Will you pick me up food on your way home?"

When you're too lazy to get food on your own so you have your personal slave fetch you lunch.

10. "I need some advice..."

One of my personal favorites. Whether about school, friends, relationships, or our parents, I know we've got each other's backs.

Cover Image Credit: People

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5 Misconceptions Of Autism That Everyone Needs To Be Educated On

Autism is a subject that I know is avoided or is touchy to some.

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Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder is a condition that identifies the different social and communication skills an individual will have troubles understanding. It becomes challenging to them.

The CDC states that every 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with this disorder in the U.S.

From an outsider's perspective, autism is a subject that can be misinterpreted in many ways. The media, government, and all sources have had thoughts on how one is diagnosed or if it is even a disorder. This has caused people to come up with different myths and misconceptions about the topic.

Over the course of college, I have been exposed to different scenarios that have made me understand the root of these different misconceptions.

1. Vaccines cause your child to have autism 

According to the CDC, (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there is no direct correlation between getting your child vaccinated and your child being diagnosed with autism. This myth is derived from an ingredient in vaccines called thimerosal. Which happens to have mercury in it, which people assumed to cause the disability. In 2004, the IOM found that there was no correlation between vaccines that had thimerosal and children being diagnosed with autism.

2. Autism is considered as one condition

Autism is better known as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Which means autism varies on the spectrum, as there is low functioning autism and there is high functioning. Low functioning is when a child has a hard time completing different day to day activities. Such as brushing your teeth, eating on your own, etc. High functioning autism results in being used to order and schedules. I experienced in the camp I was a counselor for that the kids enjoyed having a visual schedule. I learned that having everything written out and showing what was coming up next was something that was essential to get through the day.

3. Individuals with autism can’t function on their own

Depending where on the spectrum the individual may be, the functions will vary. This ties back to determining whether they are high functioning or low functioning. There are several programs implemented that assists children and adults with ASD to get them through school or find a job. This doesn't mean that they are unable to function on their own. They are just given the resources needed so they can have the same opportunities that typically developed individuals do.

4. Individuals that have autism are disabled intellectually

In fact, children and adults with autism have either normal or high IQ's. When working with kids with autism I noticed that these individuals have a specific spark of interest to a particular subject. Such as science, trains, specific bugs, etc. If you were to ask them about their favored topic they can tell you almost anything and everything about it. They are the brightest kids I have ever met. They make you see different aspects of life and how they see it through their eyes and it can give you a different outlook on life as a whole.

5. Emotions aren’t understood at all by someone with autism

It is easy for people to assume that individuals with autism experience emotions differently than a typically developed individual. In fact, emotions are just expressed differently with individuals. Communication is different, therefore the emotions will be projected differently as well. Autism does also cause the inability to underestimate the different emotions others are experiencing or expressing when interacting with an individual with ASD.

Explore Odyssey's featured Autism Awareness content here.

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