The AWEnesty of Autism

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.




Published by mamalamaneustupa

Bio My name is Shelley Neustupa. I am a mother of two cool boys and a wife of 22 years to my high school sweetheart. My oldest son attends the University of Oklahoma. Boomer! My youngest is in 2nd grade and was diagnosed with Autism and Mixed Receptive Expressive Disorder at age 2. Since his diagnosis, I promised him I would advocate and educate as hard as he works each day in therapy. I began writing and have been able to touch many parents that may be new to this journey providing them with actual experiences (not candy coated), support and resources through my entries. Writing is my therapy and my hope one day that my nonverbal son will be able to take these diaries and speak about his own journey and how autism relates to his own experiences. Who knows he and his older brother may become National Speaker’s one day? Come along on our journey to better understand our lives through the eyes of a boy with autism, his Skilled Companion dog Jude, his big brother (and best friend) and mom and dad. My raw vulnerability captures the everyday moments of our journey and will bring even more awareness. A week does not go by where we do not learn something new about ourselves and I want to share these chapters with you. My Sons Undeniable Strengths… Extremely smart and figures out things quickly. Has a memory that allows him to remember more things than I could ever hope for. Persuasive by his personality and sheepish looks. Overabundance of stamina and strength. Loves the outdoors. Enjoys life and always has fun with an unforgettable smile. You can find us here: Writer: Autism Through His Eyes Facebook Instagram YouTube Pinterest Canine Companions for Independence News Interview Cody and Skilled Companion Jude - Our Story

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