An ode to The Forgotten Sibling…

When a child is diagnosed with autism, people often forget that the siblings are impacted just as much as the parents. All of a sudden, the attention ratio in the house goes from 50/50 to 90/10. Even the most efficient parents cannot fit in the extra attention required by an autistic child and maintain the status quo.

While we’ve never missed a concert, athletics carnival or awards night, it’s the dynamics at home that make the greatest impact.

 

So with this in mind, I’ve written : An ode to The Forgotten Sibling

 

Dear Will,

I just wanted to say how proud I am of you. The day Teddy was diagnosed, it wasn’t just our worlds that changed, yours did too. All of a sudden, at just 5 and a half years of age, we asked you to have the patience and understanding of an adult . 

Instead of fighting with your brother over a toy, your toy, we asked you to step back.

When you wanted to eat something that Teddy couldn’t have, we asked you to step back.

When you were watching a show but we asked to turn it off to calm your brother, we asked you to step back.

And you did. You stepped back.

When Teddy would run away, you stepped up.

When we couldn’t find his favourite toy, you stepped up.

When we couldn’t understand what Teddy wanted, you stepped up.

When I would fall apart, sobbing in my room, you stepped up.

We know that you’re the fastest kid at school. The joker in the class. A gun on the computer. A whizz at maths and quite possibly the next Ninja Warrior. But Will, what we are most proud of, your finest achievement, is the big brother you’ve been to Teddy.

There’s plenty of kids who can run, computer hack and make jokes but there’s not many kids who can do what you do on a daily basis.

Although you don’t have special abilities, your abilities are beyond special. So on those occasions, when I’m giving you those uncomfortably long hugs, this is why.

Then in 20 years time, when we visit Teddy at NASA, or McDonalds; because let’s face it, his love for numbers and chippies are equal, we’ll exchange that proud, knowing look and you’ll realise what an exceptional person you are.

 

 

Nikki will be contributing a number of these brilliant stories over the coming months. If you’d like to keep an eye on the day to day adventures we recommend following her on Facebook and Instagram.