Blog Post

A Brother’s Perspective On Autism

Having my sister Ally on the autism spectrum means the world to me.

I’VE LEARNED MANY VALUABLE LIFE LESSONS FROM MY SISTER. FIRST, WE’RE ALL UNIQUE AND TALENTED IN DIFFERENT WAYS. WE’RE ALL PUT ON THIS EARTH FOR A PURPOSE AND WHAT MAKES OUR WORLD UNIQUE IS HOW DIFFERENT WE ARE.

As a family, we’ve embraced the differences that come with autism. The struggles and challenges are what help us grow and learn. There have been difficult times for me and my parents, but I’ve learned that there is beauty in the struggle. Frustration becomes learning opportunities for our family. We get the chance to discover more about Ally and the Autism Community every day and that helps us understand what we need to do next.

 

Ally doesn’t use many words, but she says a lot. The way she expresses herself is through art. She tells us how she’s feeling, what she wants to do next, where she wants to go, and so much more. Her talents have shown me that words are not the only way to communicate. This helps me in my day-to-day life because I’m more open to understanding that everyone expresses themselves differently. For Ally, it’s through her paintings.

 

We’ve also had to learn how to express ourselves to Ally. Because I can’t just have a conversation with her, I’ve found other ways to show Ally I love her. Something I like to do is bring her ice water at night while she’s watching her iPad. I know it makes her happy and it makes me happy to do it. I learned that saying less and doing more is the best way to communicate with her.

 

Ally has also taught me that I have to do what I love in my life to make myself happy and not care what others think. She loves to watch the same episodes of Sesame Street, Barney, and Blues Clues over and over again. That’s not how I like to watch TV, but that doesn’t matter. It’s what makes Ally the happiest. If she watched the shows or sports games we liked to make us happy, she would not get the same joy she gets during her TV time and that’s not fair to her. What Ally has taught me is to invest in yourself and prioritize what you enjoy doing with your life because the most important thing is your own happiness. You understand yourself the best, so make it a point to get to know yourself.

 

It’s important that we realize people with autism, like Ally, are human beings just like us.

I will always be proud of who Ally is. She accepts everyone and doesn’t judge anyone. When she screams in public people stop and stare, but I don’t care. It’s not important to waste time worrying about what random people think of my sister because they don’t know her. Ally has shown me that people are going to judge you or be critical no matter what you do, so choose to do things that make you happy. I try to learn about other people and gain understanding about them because I wouldn’t want others to judge my sister without getting to know her first.

 

Even though my sister does not talk a lot, she has helped create a better life for me by teaching me how to live for myself and my own happiness. She’s taught me that you can’t run away from problems, that doesn’t make them go away. You have to connect with others and express your opinions so you can improve the situation. I don’t view my sister as someone with a disability because I see her as a person who expresses her unique talents in different ways. It’s important that we be proud of people for who they are. We can find flaws in every single person we meet if we don’t accept people. I will always be grateful for my sister because she loves herself for who she is and has shown me how to live a happy life. She has shown me that you don’t need to speak to have an impact on someone’s life because you can express yourself  and who you are in different ways, like her art.

 

–Johnny

Related Blog Posts

The Caregiver’s Perspective

Outlook on Fatherhood

Follow us on social media!