Hi there! If you have already read the intro then you know that I am creating this as support for people with autistic siblings. I have a sibling who is autistic, and I know the struggle of how tough it can be.
I didn’t find out that my sibling was autistic until I was about 13 or 14 years old. One of my parents had told us at the most unexpected time. We were in a family therapy session and it fell silent for a moment. Then my dad posed a question to my sibling…
“Do you know what Asperger’s-Autism is?” said my Dad.
Already pissed off at him for the language and topic being discussed before said question was discussed I said, “What does that have to do with anything?” I had no clue what was coming and was sure as hell not ready.
I looked to the therapist for support who said “No I want to see where he is going with this.” Not even caring that two children were in the room and most likely had no clue what he was going to say. We were there to talk about the problems and flaws in the relationship with each other not our own flaws.
My dad then said those words I will never forget.
Directed and facing my sibling, “You have Asperger’s- Autism” came out.
Probably not giving two sh*ts about his effect of what he had just said. The therapist then had us leave the room so my mom, and the other biological half to my DNA, could talk with the therapist.
We walked out and obviously my mom knew something was wrong. The look of fear and confusion on her face was one I will never forget.
“What’s wrong?!” she said, her motherly instinct to protect came out.
“Well [Dad] just told us that [siblings name] has autism and I have ADHD.” The look of anger was widespread and quick. She started crying. I had no idea why as she never told us. Why should she get to feel, she was the one who had kept it from us.
In that moment I just wondered, what was going through my siblings head.
What happens next?
After we were told that my sibling was on the spectrum, we left the building where we were forced to meet and parted from my dad and went to a restaurant called Maria’s. A restaurant we had been to before, for beloved Italian food only this time there was no love. Filled with confusion and a awkward silence we didn’t know what to say to one another.
Why were we never told? Why would you do this to us?
Those were the thoughts running through my head.
I wasn’t even thinking about my sibling, who had just been told a life changing event. What they were thinking and feeling.
My mom was crying and mad. Mad that my Dad, had told us. Upset that we found out. I didn’t and still don’t know why she was so upset. She was the one who had wanted it as a secret.
“I didn’t want to tell you because it wasn’t relevant. You’re fine without it. You have grown out if it” said my mom in a not so calm tone.
First of all, no one grows out of things. You can learn to minimize it and make it smaller but it will truly never go away. There will always be a reason you do what you do. But back to the story.
So the next couple of days following were quiet. And I mean really quiet. It was that weird sense where there is a constant elephant in the room and nobody wants to talk about him. Nothing felt real. Until my sibling had a school event involving groups.
But that’s a story for another time.
How I ended up with my own blog:
I was looking for volunteer opportunities for school one day and came across a position for a writer for a non profit called Autism Care Today (ACT). It said that they helped families who couldn’t afford the services needed to treat and aid Autism. I was more than excited to be a part of this let alone have the opportunity to. I sent a message saying I was interested and here we are! Thanks to ACT I am here today to give you this blog as support for whatever troubles you may go through with your sibling as well as inform you and the people who need it about ACT and what a wonderful non profit they are.