Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Autism Answer: The luckiest sibling!

I am the oldest of eight kids. My mom adopted four boys on the autism spectrum, as well as a couple of homeless teenage girls. Our home was a textbook example of difference and diversity!! My siblings are different races, abilities and more! 

As the oldest I would like to say I took on the responsibility of right hand helper with a smile and confidence. But, I didn't. I was often condescending, passing the buck, finger pointing, eye rolling and even just plain mean. But I was also often singing with, backing up, patient with, available for and learning from my brothers and sisters.

Eventually, I grew-up and became the mom of different races and abilities and more. Having been gifted with brothers, sisters and a mom who let me learn the importance of quieting my own noisy brain and self-doubts over the years, by the time I was a mom the lessons came pretty easy! Considering I'm something of a slow learner...

So now I have a bunch of siblings for friends. I have children who consistently thank me for being their mom. I have a husband who drops everything to be there for his brother-in-laws (my bros) if they need him. I have a goofy grin chronically plastered to my face and am surrounded by the best in people. I have all of this largely because being the sibling of autism offered this lesson: insist on having it. 

I just wanted to tell you that. Siblings are siblings. We fight, we are annoyed, we want attention. We love, we learn, we have each others back. Actively encourage that connecting (rather than worry the autistic one or the sibling is not getting what they need) and that's what you're going to get!!

And take it from me, that makes all of the siblings, the luckiest sibling!!

Hugs, smiles and love!!!!