This is Reagan .
Autism is not a disease, it is a spectrum disorder. Meaning, Reagan is somewhere on a spectrum scale. His brain is wired completely different than any other child but it’s not broken. He sees things at face value. Black and white. If I say it’s raining cats and dogs, he expects it to be raining cats and dogs. His memory is phenomenal, if he meets you once, he remembers your name and where he met you for life. If I put a problem in front of him, he doesn’t see a problem, he finds out how it works and then see’s a solution. He may struggle with empathizing with others. Not because he doesn’t care, he just communicates, see’s things differently. With him everyone is a friend. There’s no strangers. Just potential friends.
You can’t pretend to listen to him. He knows if he has your attention or not- but then, most kids are like that.
in essence.. knowing someone with Autism is… learning to see the world from a different perspective.
Most importantly, how to communicate differently so you are understood. My brother, is a genius who cares about people and can’t fathom a person hurting another intentionally . His creativity is off the charts, like many Autistic children .
Reagan is sensitive to loud sounds and music …so is my sister Angela…but they both love music and love to dance
So I dance with them . They like my stories but hate to read …so I read to them …adding my own twist to the stories…maybe they won’t notice when they start reading themselves .
I remember when my sister was born ….she stopped breathing …and it caused brain damage resulting with epilepsy . and an inability to speak . There is no words to describe what it is to see a child suffer with Seizures …..none ….I remember a few years ago when her medicine stopped working .She wouldn’t stop seizing . We took her to the children’s hospital in Huntsville or maybe Birmingham? ..it’s all just signs and rain in my mind now. Dad didn’t come to the hospital that night, I remember him calling mom though and asking what he was supposed to do about supper. I knew in that moment the state of things at home. Thinking about Angela, that phone call and watching the weather outside – it was Tornadic ( very common to Alabama ) I felt something touch my leg …. Angela’s foot. She couldn’t calm down and she couldn’t get medication until she calmed down. I laid down beside her and held her until she fell asleep ….. what did the future hold for our family?? Dad should have been there but somehow, with it all, I was just glad I was .
I’ve seen people my age …not the age I feel …but my age, complain and say things because kids today have so many things they didn’t. They wish all the kids in the world had what they had.
well , I just don’t understand that at all . If you had so little , why would you not provide for a child .
we had very little growing up. I started buying things for the family when I was 16 .
These are the children in my life .
My father passed away .
Whatever he was , whatever he did is done .
Like that night in the hospital , I’m just glad I’m here .
And they make me better for it .
I can’t tell this story like my mom …or like a Dr. Only a brother.
But I’m glad it’s mine .
2 thoughts on “How Autism changed my life”
Beautifully written. Moving.