Life with Autism isn’t easy and sometimes I think it is harder on the siblings than on the parents. Because the child with autism needs a lot more attention, siblings often feel like they are ignored or neglected.It’s never what we as parents intend, but it happens none the less.
As parents we love our children unconditionally, equally, and without bias. But enough time is always an issue when one child has to be watched more than the other. I am often put into a position where I have to choose. For example, volunteering at school during games and things to help raise funds for her Close-up trip. I want to be there and help out but I can’t be there for my daughter because I have no one to watch my son and it breaks my heart. Although she doesn’t resent the extra time her brother needs (well maybe a little) and she is fiercely protective of him, I know it still hurts her and she doesn’t deserve that.
That’s why I want to acknowledge her love and sacrifices.
So let me say a little something about my daughter. She just turned 17 and is a junior in high school. Somehow even though I feel like I’ve failed her, I ended up with the best daughter in the world. She’s intelligent and hard working, almost to a fault. She is driven and conscientious. She’s at the top of her class, straight A student, involved in more extra curricular activities than anyone should be, has a full time job as a barista, and still has time to be the best big sister ever.
She loves to take selfies with her brother.
She makes it so easy for everyone to relate to her brother. The other night at the volleyball game she took him down into the student section with her to help cheer our girls. At first a lot of her friends weren’t sure how to deal with him being there. She leads by example including him in everything just like any normal kid would be. Pretty soon the others were helping him cheer and doing high fives with him.
She is all that a sibling should be. Don’t get me wrong they still squabble like any normal siblings but she’s always there as an example, guardian, and guide to her little brother. I couldn’t ask for a better daughter or sister for my son. I am so proud of her.