How Autism Speaks to Me

Autism has affected my life in a very big way. I have grown up with two older siblings that both lie on the autism spectrum. One of them has aspergers which is on the higher functioning side of the spectrum, aspergers can make those affected be very socially awkward and also have an all absorbing interest in certain subjects. My other brother has general autism which for those of you who don't know causes difficulty with communicating, social interactions, and repetitive behaviors and he is also on the high functioning side. However having autism causes other issues, they get easily aggravated, have trouble doing simple tasks, and are highly affected by loud sounds or bright objects. 

Growing up, I didn't have and still don't have a normal family dynamic or relationship with my brothers. Even though I am the youngest of three siblings, I am the one put in charge when my parents go out of town are go to an event for the night. I am the one who makes dinner, feeds the dogs and gives them their medicine. I've never had the ability to go with them to a movie or out to eat just to hang out like most siblings do. Because of this I've always been a little jealous of people who have "normal" siblings because they get to have a completely different relationship that I will never get to experience. I always tell my friends to appreciate the relationship they have with their siblings because they have no idea what their lives would be like if one of them had special needs. Everything changes.  

However there are a lot of things that I have learned from having autistic siblings. They always mean well even if they don't seem to know what they're talking about. They have a heart of gold and will always love their family and friends more than anything in the world. I have a special place in my heart for anyone who has special needs, I will never tolerate any bullying that I see especially given what my brothers went through growing up. I would fight to the death for both of my brothers because I know they would do the same thing for me. 

                                                                                                   Photo courtesy of

I won't lie, having autistic siblings has certainly been tough; but I have gained a life experience that has taught me more than any classroom could. I will forever be grateful for the brothers that I have and I hope that as they get older they will get to experience their own family and children of their own. Don't ever be spiteful for the life you've been given, because someone somewhere in the world is wishing they had what you have.