Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lindsey- Living With An Autistic Brother

    I'm 14 years old and just entered high school as a freshman. Life is kind of stressful as it is, but having a brother with autism can put more stress on the whole family. Ethan can be a real sweetie, but there are times when he has these fits. It gets really scary; he'll kick, scream, cry, and I just don't know what to do. The way he handles certain situations, such as big crowds and loud noises, is very different than the way I handle things. Everything seems so much bigger and scary for him, even if it's something small to me.
    I feel like I can never have friends over because of how he acts; I don't think my friends would understand. I know you're thinking, "Then they just aren't good friends." but that's wrong. Imagine not knowing anything about autism or how a child with autism acts, and then go to your friend's house and they have a sibling with autism. That sibling won't feel comfortable having a new person in the house and is more prone to having one of those fits. And as the friend, that would be really weird and freaky, especially if you didn't know. It's not the best situation to be in, or to put a friend in.
     Over the years, I've learned how to help Ethan calm down when he's having one of his fits. I'll bring him a glass of water, hug him tight, and help him sing one of his favorite songs. It usually works, and I know it's a big help to my mom. I really wish there was something I could do to help Ethan get better, although I know there isn't a "cure" for autism. I've learned how to cope with his disability, but sometimes it can really get to me. I love my little brother and I want to help him in every way I can, even though it can stress me out. Autism is a difficult thing to live with, but no matter what, I'll always love my little brother.

*As you can see, this is written by my daughter. It's hard for siblings of kids with a special need sometimes. But Lindsey does a great job helping me. I'm very lucky to have her! <3


  1. I loved reading this. Very well written for a 14 year old and so awesome that she tries to understand and help her brother. You must be very proud!!

    1. Thanks Brandi...I'm very proud of her and she is such a big help to me. I think the one thing that she wishes would be different would just be that she could have friends over...and it's not that we don't allow it, just that she has seen through experience how it makes her brother unbalanced and her friends, uncomfortable. She has one best friend that has not one, but two sisters with special needs and since they found each other, I think they have both been more understanding with their own siblings. She is strong and has a heart full of love, so I have no doubt she will continue to be a great sister! :-)