One thing about having a younger sister with autism is that it is very hard to not take things personally. Words can hurt, the way someone can say something hurts and when you put out your hand to help and constantly be rejected, hurts. It makes you feel like you are constantly pulling on the same rope when you are explaining something that seems so simple to you and your younger siblings but isn't for her. It's hard to remember that it is not their fault that they understand things in a whole different way than we do. This has always been my struggle with my little sister before we knew she had it and to remember that now.
I take things personally when she doesn't want to talk to me about something that bothered her or when she get mad about something and tried to take matters into her own hands. I am not her go-to person, my mom is, but when my mom isn't around, it would be nice to have the matter solved instead of having to wait until my mom gets home to find out what triggered her getting upset. You can definitely feel out of place.
Now that we have things in place to help her it does make a difference. Panic attacks still happen and those moments that you feel it is over for a moment can easily slip back into your life. It is going to be an uphill battle. I know that. Doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt or it doesn't frustrate you but it is the five deep breaths, the lock yourself in the bathroom moment of your time to recollect yourself is where you got to remember to not take it personally.
One show that is so great to understanding what a family goes through with autism or Aspergers is Parenthood. I made myself watch it and soon felt exactly like the older sister with not being able to do certain things because of the outbursts that can happen or have to go home early because she a panic attack starts. The stares from others who think that you are doing something wrong with you child or sister when really all you want to say is "he/she has autism and it is not their fault".
It is not easy for the parent or the siblings but without getting the proper help, all you are ever going to hear is that you are doing something wrong or that your kid is bad when they aren't at all. They are intelligent, amazing at their hobbies and fantastic bright ones who just need some extra love and attention.
As always, I want to send all my love and support to all the parents, siblings and families who are living with autism. I know it is not easy and if you ever want a little encouragement or just want to tell me your story or ideas to help. I would love to hear it. Stay strong!
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