How To Understand Your Autisic Sibling

You Don't Really Understand Your Autistic Sibling Until You're Ready To Understand

Growing up, I knew my brother and sister were different.

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Growing up, I knew my brother and sister were different. I have triplet siblings, two brothers and a sister. My middle brother was fine but my other brother and sister were different. At 3 years old, after having outburst at their preschool, my parents took them to a peadetrican and there was when they were both diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. My brother and sister are on the Autism spectrum but on different levels.

My sister, Andrea, has Aspbergers but she was still developing at a regular. She has emotional outbursts and always talked for long periods of time. She has mood swings that were understandable but are very annoying at times. But she is smart and goes to school like a regular person. My brother Louis, who we call Tata because he's named after our grandpa, was diagnosed with severe autism. He's nonverbal and his motor skills are minimal. To explain it in simple terms, he's a ten month old baby in a twenty year old's body. He has meltdowns everyday and would run across the room. He always covers his head by pulling part of his shirt over his head. He would hit himself so much that he would have to have gloves put on him so her wouldn't scratch himself because he hated having his nails clipped. We have to brush his teeth, give him baths, dress him, feed him. He can't do anything for himself. He requires 24/7 care or else he would tear apart the house or run off to God knows where. He's on medication now to calm his migraines so her would be less aggrivated.

As a kid, I not gonna to deny this, I was jealous of my brother and sister. They got most of the attention from our mom because they required more hands on attention. Meanwhile I was daddy's girl because he didn't want me or my other brother, Kevin, to feel like we were neglected. As a teenager, it felt like we were taking care of a pet when we had to watch him. I know that sounds horrible to say but for a thirteen year old, it felt like that to me. We didn't really have a close relationship with our mother until we were in our late teens. Before our dad died, there was a detachment we didn't know there was but after, we became closer and mended that broken tie. I started researching what Autism was as soon as a knew what the name was. Knowing what I know now, I get why my brother and sister acted the way they did.

Most of all, I understand how much my mom went through and how much she's sacrificed for my brother and my siblings. Why she would be tired and why she get mad. Why she would cry some nights and her and dad fought constantly. The strain it took on their marriage and why my brother and sister went to a different school while me and my other went to a regular public school. Being a parent is hard enough but raising two disabled children is even harder.

She was a stay at home mom for eight years before she went back to work. She does so much self sacrificing and I was so oblivious to it until I got older to understand what was going on. I want to take care of her more now because she's getting older. Right now, it's little things like taking her to lunch or buying her something she would put off. Taking care of an autistic adult is also a financial strain. My mom makes enough to care for my brother and take care of the house and herself but I always send her some money just to make it a little easier for her. She never asks but I want to take care of my mom now that I'm able to. Today, she works at a job she enjoys while still taking care of my brother but now has a caregiver in the house to take care of him while she's not at home. And we have so many family members who understand and help him in anyway they can. Whether it be watching him for a day or taking him to a doctor's appointment. We have a village behind us and will always be there for us in anyway possible.

People look at people with Autism or other mental disorders like Down's Syndrome and feel sorry for them and their families because they think they got the short end of the stick in life. And to that I say, "We don't need the sympathy.". People underestimate the strength people have to handle life's challenges. My mom is the strongest woman I know. Raising four kids, two of them being on the spectrum, and still managing to pursue her career is amazing. I'm so proud of her and hope to be half as amazing of a mother that she is. She raised four great kids and I'm so thankful for her.

I know a lot of people whose kids or family members are newly diagnosed on the spectrum. If I had to give any advice into how to respond or how to feel about the situation, I would say this. As a family, this is a change that will affect not just you as parents but also the person's siblings, grandparents, and immediate family.They are going to need more attention and your kids are going to feel a form of neglect. You and your spouse are going to have rough patches and may seaperate from each other. You're going to get tired and angry and feel like nothing is working and that's okay. It's going to be hard and you are doing the best you can. You are a good parent and a good brother or sister to him or her. It's constant learning but it will be okay.

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To The Best Friend That Turned Into A Stranger

We were the type of friends that were so close people would mistake us for sisters. Then we went to college.

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When you hear the world soulmate you think of the person you're destined to spend the rest of your life with.

The person you marry, have kids with, and love unconditionally for the rest of your life. For me, I found my soulmate. Not in a boy, but in a best friend.

We were the type of friends that were so close people would mistake us for sisters.

Some even thought my little sister was your twin. We did everything together, and quickly you became apart of my family. I think you spent the last 4 years staying at my house more than your own. Even when I was 10 hours away at college you were still there with my family.

We went through the ups and downs of high school together.

We were there for each other through every heartbreak, trauma, and loss. Even 549 miles away from each other, I knew you would be there anytime I needed you because we always stuck by each others sides.

We even got tattoos together, because we were the type of friends that would never not be in each other's lives. When people saw me, they saw you. If you weren't around, they would ask where you were.

Until everything fell apart, I left college and you went to college.

We didn't see each other as often as we did but we still talked. I could feel you pulling away and I didn't know why. You found a new friend, and i am so happy you did because the last thing I would want, would for you to be alone in college. But you quickly replaced me. You would come home during breaks and spend 1 day with me and the rest with her.

The reasoning why you said you weren't spending time with me was hurtful, and it's not something I'll mention here. But just know it hurts. Asking for you to give me back the key I gave you for my house hurt.

I know you've been through a lot, and even after all the fighting, I reached out to you.

Because I will always care about you and love you like a sister. But you can only try so hard to fight for someone that doesn't want to be in your life anymore.

I hope you find pure happiness, you deserve it. Just know I miss you and I always will. No one prepared me for the pain I would feel when losing my soulmate.

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An Open Letter To Older Brothers, With All The Things Your Younger Brothers Won't Admit

This is what everyone with older brothers won't admit, so I'll do it for us all.

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Older Brothers:

As we get older, we definitely begin to grasp at the importance of our relationship with each other. More specifically, the path of substantial growth that develops and unfolds as we get older bewilders us, yet we find ourselves elated with the direction that it is taking. Although we used to unconditionally hate each other, times change substantially the older we become.

We all truthfully appreciate the weight of the growth more than you do, and we'll explain why further in this letter alongside the stages of our relationship.

Ironically, it is very hysterical to think as far back as we can remember to when we were little kids. We definitely caused our parents to be overwhelmed with extraordinary stress, but it did not matter to us. The first stage of our relationship was as innocent and peaceful as could be, at least before the storm arrives later on. We truly appreciate engaging in nothing but fun with you. You were our first tour guide in the world, and your hobbies became ours. We could often be found disappearing into endeavors, on a life or death mission as we saw it.

Simply put, we were in it together, whatever it was.

Even with small and insignificant bickering every once in a while, it never amounted to anything terrible. All we cared about was exploding with our energy and breaking the ornery meter with you. Thank you for embracing this first stage of enjoyment with us. It seemed to pass by incredibly fast, especially with stage two of our relationship on the horizon.

Stage two was a huge love-hate time. It was also by far the most growthful and helpful time for us, even though it certainly did not seem that way. As we entered into our pre-teens and then into middle school, all we cared about was undermining you. For some reason that we really do not know how to explain, we attempted to find an edge.

Stage two of our relationship was filled with fighting that usually ended in us losing. This specifically helped us to learn how to deal with crap. You also had all your high school friends more or less beat us up. You also always expected us to be at our best. As you progressed through high school, we were beginning to learn it all. This is where the love of love-hate came into play. Although we also never explicitly understood or acknowledged it, you inspired us. Being older, you had already experienced a lot and helped us through the worst.

Stage two was definitely a rollercoaster of love-hate (more hate in our minds), but we later learned you were dope.

In the final stage of growth in our relationship, we learned that we had and have a built-in forever best friend relationship. In our late high school years, college, and beyond, we finally realized the impact you had on us. You are honestly probably happier than us that we finally grew up, but we never admit we were and are the perfect duo, two peas in a pod. We grew up together and experienced a lot. So here's to us, even though we will always be better than you.

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