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It’s been a month and two days.

Not being specific or anything or highlighting my lack of getting things done.

In all honesty, did not ditch the blog! I was really busy with college and UCAS so I guess college commitments come first before this. So I thought, it’s been too long since I’ve posted in this blog so I’m sure taking a bit of time off of my college commitments won’t hurt 🙂

Other than me being busy with college, we’ve noticed that my brothers been starting to babble a bit more and exploring a wide range of uh.. consonants- kind of. Either way, he’s been verbal and that’s what counts xD He went to have his check up for this year at the center that first diagnosed him. So, when I came back from college, my mum had some good news. They had said that everything from his brain to his toes were perfectly fine. That he had improved. His mental age in a way to put it is now three which is great because it shows that he improved! Also, my mum asked him where he was on the scale- something that no one ever told us.

So the lady explained to my mum that my brother is able to do a lot of things but it’s just that he’ll only do what he wants to do a.k.a stubborn. But I guess it’s not stubborness? He just doesn’t want to do it, but he can do it. Which I guess upon hearing it made my mums day because she’s always noted that he was stubborn for his age, and the fact that he is able to do things gave her hope because he can do it and now she understands that we’ll just have to keep at it so he’ll do it eventually, slowly but surely.

Oh and a few posts ago, probably one of the first few posts, I wrote about one of my brothers medicine which stank like sh-. Well, we finally found a way for him to have it 😀 So my brother likes to drink his mango juice so we decided to mix a little in there. (Its a syrup and we checked with the doctor and it’s perfectly fine!) AND HALLELUJAH HE DRINKS IT C: They’re going to send him to a blood test to check his vitamin levels and all that jazz.

So things are looking a lot more positive c: I’ve learned that he’s going to meet with the speech and language therapist every thursday and I guess I’m really eager about how things go that I keep harping the school to update us about it (I’M SORRY, I CAN’T HELP IT Q~Q) But yeah, he’s going to go through an assessment and then they’re going to do things around that. I’d love to be there when they do it! But I don’t think I’ll be able to D: I recently brought a book about SaLT and how they do their work, and I’m honestly looking for some free time to read it. I just find the job of a speech therapist really awesome and the fact that you get to use your creativity in it too, I mean I have a few ideas ^^ But I hope I can do it. If I put my mind to it, I can.

I think the key thing to anything is to perseveare but DON’T OVER DO IT! Because soon the enjoyment just gets sucked out. *nod head*

Well I’m going to end it here since I have coursework to do and hopefully, I’ll post another blog up soon. Oh, it’s my brothers birthday soon! November the 13th! I’m going to attempt to make a double decker cake 😀 not that he’ll have any but yeah! 😀

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Its not all fun and games.

And thats the hidden truth. As a teen, you already have so many things to deal with however big or small and it can drive you crazy! Being the autistic sibling, I can’t even imagine what it must be like but being a sibling with a brother who has autism, I can say that although I appear to be positive and happy, there are times were I just go into an all time low because I feel that I have so much on my plate.

I still remember the day when my mum broke down infront of me upon hearing the news of my brothers autism, and that moment will forever be engraved in my head.. At the time, it did seem like Autism would suddenly dictate my brothers life because we didn’t know anything about autism, apart from it being classed as a disability. It’s funny really, once you hear that someone has a disability you suddenly feel sorry for him/her and you instantly think about all the differences that set you apart from that person. You think that this disability is bad because it’s restricting this person and now the course of this persons life will have to change completely for the worse, that they can’t do certain things because their disability doesn’t allow them too. I remember thinking these things that very night when we were told about my brothers autism. I thought about lots of things, and looking back I cringe at those thoughts because I feel that I shouldn’t have thought those. These thoughts included: How will my parents cope? Will he lead a normal life? Will he be able to speak? Will he need supervision? Why did God do this? What did we do to deserve this?

Those last few thoughts just make me want to slap myself silly. Because this isn’t anything to do with God at all. Sure, if your believe in fate and destiny.. But I believe that it can happen to anyone. Not because God decided to ‘punish’ us. For example, losing your sight is classed as being a disability and this could happen lets just say.. having acid being thrown onto you (it does happen)- and it can happen to anyone, n0t because God decided to do it.

I also remember that for weeks, I just felt uncomfortable and upset and out of place because I had my own set of problem which I really don’t want to go into at the moment, that I had to deal with. And yes, those problems even though they seem millions of miles away from my head right now, will always be with me. I felt as though that I was at the lowest because of those problems and my brothers autism just piled on top. Aside from the usual ‘How do I deal with it?’ I was also thinking about my parents, the questions they will ask which I wouldnt have an answer too, what to tell them for comfort.. I guess it being me who went with my mum to hear the news felt like I suddenly had a responsibility to ‘fix’ things or make things ‘better’ and the thought of this made me just.. want to stay in bed and never come out. Yet on the other hand I also hated myself for being so selfish and even took it out on myself. I remember thinking that I must be the most horrible daughter in the world, putting my problems first and not doing anything. I was also angry and confused with my siblings.. because they seemed normal enough, as if it was nothing. I was angry because they weren’t the ones watching my mum crying and unable to do anything. I was confused because of the way they were taking it. And I also found it ‘unfair’ on how they didn’t seem to have the responsibility too- (I’m the second eldest, and theres four of us) I felt as though I had enough problems as it is, with the A+B (dont want to mention), feeling like I’m failing college, no motivation, letting my fears take over me, confidence issues, anxiety.. all sorts- like they didn’t seem to have any worries..

I think what made me change my whole outlook was the following question- ‘Does autism change the love I have for my baby brother?’.

And the answer to that is… *drum rolls* No it doesn’t. Some people might as well have been criticizing me for even contemplating such a question but guess what? I would be criticizing myself too. Why would I even change the love I have for my brother because of my brothers autism? It’s just a silly question! But as silly as it was, it gave me motivation to change. Being the second eldest, I have only ever been there for witnessing my sisters birth (not there as in labour but there as in seeing her for the first time after birth) but even still, I can’t remember any feelings because I was young.. (I was around 6 at the time she was born). But seeing my baby brother for the first time at the grand old age of 13, I remember having this instant love for him and knowing whatever life threw at us, I will always love him and being the elder sibling for the 2nd time, I’d protect him no matter what. So why would those feelings even change now that my brother has autism? Ha, it won’t ever change. NOTHING should and won’t ever change it.

I suddenly knew that the first thing I had to do was to do my research and be there as a.. Encyclopedia as well as a source for comfort for my parents, and thats what I did. I became very involved with my brother’s autism, making sure I listened carefully during appointments, making sure he recieved some form of therapy to improve his skills or intensive interaction to improve his eye contact or just the general relationships with his family I guess. I also figured that I can’t blame my siblings that they don’t have any responsiblity, because I kind of persuaded my brain to think it is and even though my parents tell me to take it easy since theyre the parents, the fact is that I can’t take it easy because I will also have this feeling that I SHOULD be doing something to help my brother.

That all happened during the first year. And a lot has improved- we have more up days but hey, I STILL have those days where I feel like absolute crap.

My cousins came over their little brother is 2 years younger than mine. And I’m not going to lie- when he talks, when he eats, when he just understands people around him, it does bring back those thoughts and I suddenly just compare my brother to him. Yes MY brothers diet is limited. Yes, I know that MY brother isn’t able to say words (yet) let alone sentences, and he may not be able to communicate fully now BUT he is improving- and each time he improves, it just makes everything worth the while. Every minute of me putting my college work aside, handing in assignments late, not paying attention in class was worth it when my brother suddenly knows how to wear his cap, or understands to sit down when I say ‘sit’. I’m not saying that its ok to ignore college/school work- they’re important but at the time I felt like I had no choice.

It still is difficult. I still struggle with doing my college work and going to work and feeling guilty for not being with my brother. I sometimes struggle with problems A+B, I struggle with trying to do well in college, I struggle with a lot of things.. but it is so much better right now than the situation I was in 2 years ago. I think thats the key thing that teens with autistic siblings struggle with- juggling it all (at least I do but hey, people may have other problems) But it is do able- you just need to make the time and I guess make a mental timetable though for others, its just easier to write it down and tick it off. One thing that I wish was there 2 years ago was someone who could help me as a teenager deal with my brothers autism at the time. I think its just so easy for a teenager to feel lost and out of place, especially in unknown territory- thats why I started up my project ‘Autism and the Teen Sibling’.

If your interested and want to find out more…

http://www.junction49.co.uk/idea/3102/autism_and_the_teen_sibling/

And follow us on: https://twitter.com/AutismAndTheSib

And if you want to submit a post (whether your an autistic sibling or have a sibling with autism OR even want to have your day) email your submission to autismandtheteensibling@gmail.com

I guess the reason why I chose to write about this topic was because I wanted to let people who are in a similar situation to me that its ok to have those down days- we all get them. Don’t beat yourself over it. And by doing so, you won’t achieve anything now would you? I should also mention before some get the wrong idea- that autism or any other disability shouldn’t dictate the way you or any other person to live your/their life! Each and everyone is different, so don’t allow stereotypes to dictate what they can or cannot do AND please, don’t disabilities change the love you have for your sibling- not for the worst.

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Cutest thing ever.

My brother was sitting next to me- and he was playing with my hair. I don’t know what fascination he has with it but he loves my hair- he’d even lick it o.o (with the licking thing, the lady said that it was his way of identify things o.o)

Anyway, I had my hair in plaits and then the end hair band came off so my brother got off of the sofa and picked it up, then he gave it to me :’) it was the first time ever I’ve seen him do it and it was the cutest thing ever! I told my mum and she got really happy. Things like this show that he’s just improving everyday, and things like this do make my day. Also, he ate bread dunked in tea today ^^. He never ate bread before but my mum wanted to make him try, so she got him on to her lap and some how made him eat it. I think he found it tasty and so my mum put him back on his chair and ate the whole thing :’)

She tried feeding him cucumbers but he hates that stuff. In actual fact, he hates all solid-hard food. Just pondering on whether theres ways to get around this? Before, when any of us gave him a slice of apple or carrot, he would lick it and he’d know its meant for eating so he’d put it down. Now he won’t even go near the stuff o.o

Any ideas on how to go round this?