I read a good article the other day from a Mom that was titled, The AWEnesty of Autism.
Her timing was great because I recently observed my oldest son, Cameron (13 years old) struggle wanting that “normal” brother to brother relationship. Last night we were headed out to watch Cameron’s winter band concert and I wanted to capture a quick photo of them in front of the tree. Cody was struggling with not wanting to take a photo nor having his brother stand next to him.
We decided to then head out to the concert and on the way their Cameron was wanting to interact like brothers would normally do in the backseat of a car and Cody was pushing is hand away and becoming fussy.
As a Mom, I observe this time to time with my 13 year old and know this is when we need to drop everything we are doing and go get a Slurpee!
Because the AWEnesty of having a sibling on the spectrum is they are different and it is OK to have those mixed up crazy feeling and emotions. It is OK to be pissed off or even feel sad and need to cry.
It is tough at times because I can see he might be afraid if he has these emotions, then it looks like he does not care for his brother or there is this sort of guilt he will hold feeling this way.
The AWEnesty though is it is OK to have these feelings and we all have experienced them as parents, grandparents, brothers and/or sisters. What we once had envisioned our lives would be like as siblings is not that and it is very different so we have to seek a new way together.
Now don’t get me wrong, we find the happiness in other ways and everyday we learn more and more from how Cody Rivers likes to show his affection and playful side.
Every once in a while when Mom’s do observe those sad moments and that discouragement in their child’s eyes, go get them a Slurpee and let them know those feelings are normal!
As parents, we learn this sooner than our children do but its a good reminder for our children that are on this journey with us. Autism Speaks has a great resource on Tips for Brothers and Sisters.