The World Through The Eyes Of Possibility
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

The World Through The Eyes Of Possibility

A story about brotherhood, life lessons, and autism.

32
The World Through The Eyes Of Possibility
Nick Winter

I would like to dedicate this story to my brother who is living with a form of Autism known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Growing up with a sibling who was not like everyone else was something that took a while for me to adjust to. As a kid, I always knew he was different, I just had no idea why at the time. That was always the big question: Why? Why is my brother acting like that? Why is he throwing temper tantrums so intense that they would sometimes last for hours? My mother would always mention the word “Autism.” Autism? What is that? I always asked myself this question. But the thing I did not know was that I was about to open up into a whole new world that I never thought I would be in... and it changed my life forever.

Isn’t Autism great? This is something my mother use to always say when we would get those distressing stares from others at the supermarket or anywhere we were with my brother. My mother is one of the strongest people I have ever met in my life. She has been through it all. As I was growing up, she did her absolute best to raise us right and accept the fact that one of her children had Autism. I remember her telling me all of these crazy stories about my brother that I wasn’t there for and wow, were they wild. My brother was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 6 and a half. Most people may think this is pretty late for someone to get diagnosed with Autism, but when it comes to Asperger’s this usually isn’t the case all of the time. This is mainly because Asperger’s syndrome is a higher functioning Autism. A lot of the developmental abnormalities are not usually noticeable until the child begins school and their teacher starts to notice some delays that may require testing to occur. Our family had the best doctor in the world. He was amazing, and to me, seemed like and talked like a pure genius. The one thing that I remember the most about our trips to my brother’s doctor's office was all of the books he had on his shelves. The books ranged from Autism treatments, diagnosis, and other books about various neuro-developmental disorders. Thank goodness we had the best doctor help my parents through this difficult time because my parents had no idea to react when they heard that their son had a disability called Autism. It wasn’t as prevalent in the 90s as it is now so it wasn’t much of a familiar term as it is today. So it was definitely something that my parents had very little knowledge about at the time. I always look back on going to Chicago at least once a month with my parents to go see him. At the time I was very young and really did not seem to know what was going on or why we had to see him all the time. I later realized as I grew older how important he was to us and how much of an effect he had not only on my brother, but our whole entire family. He has helped us through so much: the meltdowns, the medications, and most importantly our well being. He later then moved to New York for a couple of years and now he is living in San Francisco, California. I never really realized how much this man has affected us until I look back now. Even though we have a new doctor now, we still keep in touch with him all the time. He really made a lasting impact on our lives. He taught all of us to be patient and understanding. He has helped us get through the most intense behaviors that we never would have though we could handle. He was the best doctor a family could ever ask for. I dedicate part of this story to him.

Now I want to talk about the behaviors I experienced as I grew up when it came to my brother. There have been a lot of intense meltdowns when I was a kid that I never seen before out of a typical kid. I had no idea why they were so scary. When it comes to people with Autism, meltdowns are usually more intense and more frequent at a younger age, and as they grow older they usually begin to have fewer meltdowns that are less intense and are less frequent. But sometimes without intensive therapy, as they grow older their meltdowns either stay the same or sometimes tend to get worse, which can have a huge impact emotionally and physically both for that person and the people around them. I am thankful that my brother had his streak of meltdowns when he was younger. Of course it’s not like he is done with meltdowns. He still has them every once in awhile, but they are not as intense as they used to be. He has come so far in controlling his behaviors with the help of therapy and family support. His meltdowns today would only last about 45 minutes maximum. But when he was younger, they would usually last up to four hours. But the thing is, it would almost always be about something little. Just a little comment and boom, let the meltdown begin. For example, I remember one time my mother and I were with my brother at the supermarket and my brother wanted a candy bar. That's it, just a candy bar. My mother did not end up getting him one because he had one earlier in the day at his day program. As soon as she said no, he started kicking, screaming, and punching with no sense of control. That was the trigger. It could be something as little as a candy bar. He was screaming so loud that I swear every single person in the area was staring and wondering what exactly was going on. He then began to roll on the floor refusing to stand back up. He was about fifteen at the time and I remember having to help my mom literally carry him out into the parking lot and then into the car. It was about noon on a Thursday afternoon. On the drive home he began to kick, scream, and eventually repeatedly started to punch my mother in the face. We eventually had to pull over so he can finally calm down. My mother used to go to see our doctor with bruises and scratches all over her arms from my brother’s meltdowns. I swear my mom has the patience of a saint.

Just growing up in an environment full of wild meltdowns I think has changed my as a person. Why? Mainly because I grew up with a brother who was different than everyone else-- who talked differently, who acted differently, who thought differently. I saw and experienced many things that most siblings don’t get to grow up with. His behaviors growing up has taught me how to be patient and considerate towards those with special needs. I have also learned that many times he can’t control his behaviors explaining that “he didn’t mean it” or that “he is so sorry” filled with tears and regret. Everyone who works with needs with special needs needs to understand that a lot of the times, their behaviors are not in their control and our society needs to know that too so we can take the right steps in knowing how to be truly patient and understanding towards those with special needs. We live in a world where very few people have true patience and it’s sad because a lot of people really don’t know how truly gifted these kids are. I have been bitten, kicked, punched, and spat at. But knowing how to deescalate a behavior is one of the best feelings in the world to me. Either at work or at home, it's an amazing feeling knowing that you helped someone out with an uncontrollable behavior. It’s just amazing what I have learned from his behaviors. I would never take any of those hectic moments in my life back because they all taught me something new about not only my brother, but people with special needs in general.

My mother is one of the strongest people I have ever met in my life. As a part of my story, I would like for you all to know her story and how she became as strong as she is today. Having a son with Autism is tough and I believe that God gives them to the strongest mothers out there. One hundred percent, everyday my mother is full of energy and ready to go. It’s something that is needed while raising a son with Autism-- constant energy and effort all day everyday. My mother has found out so much about herself and life in general while raising my brother. My brother was born on October 27th, 1990. In the 90s, Autism wasn’t the biggest deal and was mostly unheard of and likely uncommon. Like I mentioned, my mother did not know how to react, and kids with Asperger’s syndrome don’t show obvious signs of Autism until they are at least four or five years of age. My parents had no idea and no suspicions the first couple of years of my brother’s life. They had no idea what was about to come their way. When he finally got diagnosed at 6 and a half my mother just completely lost it and broke down into tears, not knowing how to react or what to do. But eventually, after copious amounts of therapy sessions, she knew that this is her son and she would do everything in her power to give him unconditional love and support throughout the rest of his life. Of course there was no hesitation there in making that decision. She just had to realize what Autism was and what the next steps were in order to help live his life to the fullest just like everyone else. Raising a son with Autism was tough work and she had to give up on many things. But in the end, giving up was not an option.

Every single individual with Autism has something to give: all of them. Our society really needs to start to realizing that. You realize what kind of person someone is when you meet someone with special needs. If everybody was as kind as they are, it would be a better place to live. We can learn all take away such a valuable lesson from them.


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

10 Revolutionary Women To Remember This Fourth Of July

The patriots of the American Revolution aren't the only ones who gave us the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

272
10 Revolutionary Women To Remember This Fourth Of July

Independence Day is almost upon us, which means that for most Americans, it'll be time to bust out the lawn chairs and grills, gather around family and friends, and praise our history through patriotic garb and grand fireworks displays. It's the one day of the year where everyone forgets their political biases or historic inaccuracies, at least for a while, to look back on the hazy, illustrious history of the United States.

But, while we celebrate what people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry did for this country, they are not the only ones who embodied the very virtues that our nation loves to advocate for. This Fourth of July, here are ten American women who history tends to forget, despite the groundbreaking things they did for their country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

13 Ways Barbie Movies Shaped My Childhood

My childhood would not have been the same without them.

7424
Taylor Hawk

Barbie movies were a huge part of my childhood. I mean huge. If you are like me, I welcome you to take a healthy dose of nostalgia as I explain how Barbie movies shaped my childhood. The movies...

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Pride Doesn't End With June

Here's seven ways you can be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community after pride month ends.

8946
Pride Doesn't End With June
Photo by Sara Rampazzo on Unsplash

As July begins, the month we call 'Pride Month' is technically over. However, just because pride month is over doesn't mean we can't still show pride and support for our LGBT brothers and sisters. This article here will tell you seven ways to be a supportive ally to the LGBTQ+ all year round.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

My 4th Of July Look

MISS SWISS - Glamour On The Go

7296
My 4th Of July Look

Whether I can get to the beach this weekend or I'm just at a friend's pool, I know I'll be picture ready. Fourth of July weekend following so close behind Pennsylvania lifting the state mask mandate has me anticipating many smiling faces, eager to capture the moment.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Eat and Drink Your Way Through Los Angeles With Me

When i die spread my ashes at the Bubba Gump at Citywalk

5243
Eat and Drink Your Way Through Los Angeles With Me
Hailey Hastings via Canva

First and foremost, I am a foodie. In any city that I am in, the first thing I want to know is where the best places to eat and drink are, and I imagine a lot of you are the same. Los Angeles happens to be one of the greatest food cities in the United States, so it's only right that I present you guys with this list. These are the best places (that I have tried) in Los Angeles to eat or drink.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments