Why I Will Always Look Up to My Little Brother

Most people say their family is not normal because of little reasons. But when I say it, I mean it because of something a little different. My little brother, Drew, was diagnosed early on with severe autism and cerebral palsy (meaning he can not walk). He can not talk, feed himself, be left alone, or do any daily tasks without help. My parents have tried thousands (literally) of different ways to help my brother. My brother has gone to many AVA therapists, taken over 500 EKGs (brain scans), tried many different private and public schools, done experimental treatments, and seen many nutritional doctors (he can’t have dairy or gluten). My brother was later on also diagnosed with Seizures, and a disease on his X chromosome.

The hardest part is that people do not understand my brother. Whenever we go out in public, people stare at us from one side of the street to the other. How would you feel if someone stared at you every time you went out? I know it would make me very uncomfortable- and personally, I find it to be very rude. Little children and adults do not know how to interact with him. What most people don't understand is that Drew understands people, he just can not respond. He is a very clever little boy. But, people still treat him horribly, and he has to put up with it. He is sneaky and will do anything to get what he wants sometimes (like climb on tables try to take down our chandelier or drop his backpack as soon as he sees my mom after school).

I am also grateful for the little kids at school that talk to him. It makes my heart sing. Being in college now has proven very difficult for me to constantly talk to my brother. But, for the girls at school that watch over him and make sure to play and include him, I am very thankful and I know you will go far and do wonderful things in life.

I also commend my parents for all they do for my little brother. I know it must not be easy and I can not imagine what they put up with on a daily basis. I want to thank them for being true to who they are, and loving Drew so much.

I look up to Drew because he has taught me so much that everyone else seems to take for granted. Even though he struggles mentally/physically, he always has a smile on his face and takes set backs with a grain of salt. For example, at school Drew has to eat his meals and brush his teeth without help and he has recently been able to accomplish both tasks, despite having trouble picking up small objects with one hand. He does not stop until the day is done and I think that is amazing. Even though Drew has special needs, he will always be my little brother, and I know he will never stop fighting! We should all be more like Drew.

Drew- I know I do not see you as much as I would like, but I love you dearly, little brother. Thanks so much for being you!