It's All Okay

Just a mom blogging about life with an autistic child.

Name:
Location: Canada

I'm a stay at home mom with two boys. Patrick is my youngest and has ASD.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Siblings

We have a week off school for spring break. I'm fine, since I've always been home with the boys and tend to miss them when they're at school anyway. But I feel bad for older brother.

It's really difficult to be Patrick's older brother. M has really had to learn how to let things bounce off him (literally as well as figuratively). We've recently had to have an updated version of the "autism talk". Until now M has only really understood that Patrick is different. He's been able to say to other children "Patrick's not bad he just doesn't understand the rules". But I've seen lately that now we're at the point where he needs to know more.

So we did a bit of brain talk. We discussed the seizures and how those were because of a brain difference. Then we talked about how autism could also be because of a difference in the brain. We talked a bit about "age correction". I'm not into that generally but in this case it helped him to understand that Patrick isn't the same as other 5 year olds. We talked about how it can be hard because he's not just a big brother but he also has to deal with some stuff that just isn't fair. It felt like a good talk. Obviously it went beyond what I've described. I've just given the overview here. In a highly insightful moment he asked me what we'd do if Patrick became an adult and still couldn't do things. I answered as honestly as I could...I told him if he still needed our help then we would help him. M thought this was a good idea.

So far they're getting along ok. Occasionally I hear "mom, Patrick's bothering me" or "Patrick, stop throwing lego, you're not allowed to throw". I think he's dealing with it as best he can at this point. He is, after all, only 7 years old himself.

Sometimes I think about the unfairness. About how different M's life would be if Patrick wasn't his younger brother. But I think, generally, M has benefited from this the same way we all have. Knowing Patrick has made us better people.

5 Comments:

Blogger Club 166 said...

Sounds like M and Patrick are doing just fine.

Knowing Patrick has made us better people.

And that's what's really important.

Mon Mar 12, 01:25:00 PM 2007  
Anonymous Shannon (Sentimental) said...

That that you wish this on anyone but having Patrick as his brother will teach him tolerance of others who are different and that is certainly something more that the world needs. Hugs sweetie, enjoy your time with your kiddos.

Mon Mar 12, 03:01:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Karianna said...

I have heard so many wonderful stories about how siblings of ASD kids end up being so perceptive, helpful, and understanding in ways that serve them well as they mature.

I imagine it is a hard road, but it gives an important role.

It sounds like M already does a great job. It will be a mutually beneficial situation, I think.

Tue Mar 13, 09:48:00 AM 2007  
Blogger e.mother said...

Thank you for sharing this piece. I would love to post it on www.awildride.net with a link to your site. Our theme this month is "Siblings" and this would be a perfect addition to our Blog with a link to your site of course.
Please contact me: ecoplan@coplan.com.

Wed Mar 14, 07:45:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Sam I Am said...

Thanks for sharing. I hear you so much on the sibling piece. My oldest, Neurotypical son, is 9 1/2, and my youngest autistic son is 5. I feel so much the same. You will find special times for both boys. We have found great luck with Sibshops offered by ARC in our state. My oldest has been going for almost 2 years now and loves it. They offer support groups all the way through the teens. Keep doing the great work you are doing!!

Thu Mar 15, 02:11:00 PM 2007  

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