acrosstheuniverse28

United States

Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
She/her
Ballerina
Ravenclaw
Tolkien-ite
Psych-o
Beatlemaniac
(Yay for classic rock)
Amateur astronomer
History buff
Musical Lover
Sagittarius
Est. March 2020

Message from Writer

WtW's self-proclaimed hermit ;)

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." -- Anne Frank

"Maybe lots of people go through life never knowing they're peculiar." -Ransom Riggs

"One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving." - Paulo Coelho

~~Stay gold, Ponyboy~~

"Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe" - The Beatles -- an accurate depiction of my brain

Anyone in need of reviews, don't hesitate to ask for them! ;)

My Amazing, Autistic Brother

May 19, 2020

FREE WRITING

7
Autism does not define him. It's not "just who he is". Sure, autism is a part of him, but that's not what matters. What matters is his love for Marvel and Star Wars. He loves to read but absolutely hates sports. He could tell you the randomest, strangest, most interesting facts about animals and places you've never heard of. What matters is that he's my brother.

    The last day of school for my brother this year meant the last day of 8th grade. The last day of middle school. He's going to be a freshman now. When did that happen?
    But this year, this crazy year of 2020, school has looked quite different. There will be no parties or continuation ceremonies for my brother; he won't even get to say goodbye to his teachers in person. That's why my mom bought balloons today. She enlisted my help, and together we made a little poster for him, congratulating him on his accomplishments. Because surviving middle school is one of the biggest accomplishments for any kid, but an even bigger one for a kid with autism.
    While my brother was playing video games this afternoon, my mom and I decorated the kitchen. It wasn't much; three balloons, some silver and gold stars hanging from ribbons, and our messy, hand drawn poster. My mom called down to tell my brother to turn off his game and come up stairs, then pulled out the video camera. As he came into the kitchen, my parents and I yelled "Happy Continuation!" in unison. 
    At first he smiled. He raised his hands in the air, giving a celebratory whoop and an "Aw yeah!"
    Two seconds later, he was fighting to hold back tears.
    "Woah," my mom put down the camera and cautiously approached him. "What's wrong?"
    "I don't really like all this," he replied shakily, giving a vague gesture at the decorations. He was fighting valiantly to not break down.
    "We wanted to celebrate your last day of middle school though," my dad interjected from the kitchen table. 
    "But I don't like it." That's all he said as a few tears made their quick escape.
    "That's okay," my mom said gently. I could see the hurt in her eyes, though. She didn't understand how our attempt at making his day a bit more special had gone so terribly wrong.
    I didn't quite understand either, and I still don't. Maybe he didn't like the attention. Perhaps it was the element of surprise that shook him. Or possibly it was just a painful reminder of the strange end to the school year we have had. I'll never work out the true reason behind the ordeal.

    Doctors can't check a few boxes off of a list of symptoms and diagnose someone with autism. Autism isn't a "one size fits all" type of thing. There's no clear lines to color inside of. They call it the autism "spectrum", but I like to think of it as an oddly shaped dart board. When God chooses for someone to be autistic, He hands them a set of darts to throw and gives them a reassuring nod. Wherever the darts land determines the different "symptoms" that autism will manifest itself in for that individual. 
    But I hate the word "symptom". It makes autism sound like a disease; like something that requires medicine, something that needs to be cured.
    Autism isn't a disease. It's not a curse. It can't and doesn't need to be cured. It's just a way for doctors to say "Your brain is a little bit different than everyone else; you experience life, interact with others, and feel emotion in a different way than most people do." But that's okay! But just because it's not a disease doesn't mean autism isn't a challenge. I've seen it countless times in my brother's eyes as he struggles to get me to understand what he's saying. I've seen it as he talks loudly and passionately about his interests to unattentive ears (which are often times mine, I hate to admit). I saw it throughout his 6th grade year, when kids in his class bullied and belittled him. When they made him feel stupid and unimportant just because he wasn't wired like them.
    And I saw it today, in his reaction to our continuation surprise. My brother has faced so much, and I know without a doubt he is going to have to face much more throughout his life. I know I'm never going to fully understand his inner workings. I'm never going to know for sure what makes him tick, and I probably won't get much better at predicting his emotional reactions. But that's okay. He's different and that's okay. I might not always understand him, but I will always be there for him.

Because he's my brother, and that's the only thing that matters to me.
If there's typos... well... it's definitely not because I couldn't see through the salt water that decided to come pouring out of my face.
Dedicated to any one with any type of learning disability, big or small. What the world calls a disability is really just your superpower. Friends and families of these amazing superheros: you're just as amazing and heroic.  
Thank you for taking the time to read this rant, it really means a lot to me. <3<3<3

Print

See History
  • May 19, 2020 - 11:57pm (Now Viewing)

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

10 Comments
  • The Campbell's Kid

    *and for being such an awesome sibling to your brother


    6 months ago
  • The Campbell's Kid

    This was such an endearing piece and I was almost in tears when I read it. I have a very close cousins that are like siblings to me and their youngest sister is autistic and I'm just so proud of all the ways she has grown in the face of adversity. She has taught me so much and I am forever grateful and blessed to have such an amazing person in my life! Great job for writing this piece being such an awesome sibling to your brother! <3


    6 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    This is so sweet and effectively put. Thank you for sharing!!


    6 months ago
  • Emi

    Aw, I love how you show your affection towards your brother in this piece. It's so sweet to read.


    6 months ago
  • mason wong

    Thank you for your comment on my piece!!! Will published more part soon


    6 months ago
  • outoftheblue

    This is so deeply heartfelt and emotional. My cousin, who just turned 18 also has autism and he's one of the kindest people I know. My aunt actually runs a school for autistic children. It's true, autism is his superpower.


    6 months ago
  • Just_A_Memory

    Aw! This was so touching! My brother has autism too, so it warmed my heart even more.

    Just a small fact for anyone who is curious: When doctors studied autism, they only studied males. They may claim that a male has autism when they are two years of age, but girls are normally told they have it when they reach their teens.

    Just thought I'd put it out there. Anyhow, amazing work! It was very emotional!


    6 months ago
  • Sol noctis

    This is so touching.....


    6 months ago
  • cherryn

    Replying: I would be honored if you made it your motto!


    6 months ago
  • ek503

    This is so emotional, genuine, and beautiful. I can't say that I know anyone with autism, but I wholeheartedly agree with you when you wrote that autism doesn't define a person. <3


    6 months ago