Living with Autism presents such a boatload of challenges. It challenges the family and it challenges the person. Day in and day out it is exhausting for everyone. My Boy has to take extreme effort to attempt to get his most basic communication heard. No words, no sign language, no electronic communication…. He relies on pulling people around and throwing their hand at things. The frustration he feels has got to be tremendous – especially when people get the wrong message. Or worse, they won’t let him ‘talk’ to them at all because they are afraid that he is grabbing them to pinch or bite.
But The Boy’s baby brother opened my eyes. He is almost 4 now. Such an innocent and precious 4 year old with the biggest heart. Now I could rationalize it and tell myself that this innocence is because he doesn’t remember watching me beaten to tears by his big brother like his other siblings have.
I choose not to.
I am choosing to love and support that this little 4 year old looks up to his big brother and wants to be just like him. I am choosing to support his want to follow his big brother around the yard and do the same things his brother enjoys. I am choosing to stay close to make sure I pick up any non-verbal cues from The Boy saying he is done having company. I am choosing to squelch the fear that the little one isn’t going to be safe if aggression shows it’s ugly face. I sat watching them throw rocks and sticks off into the woods. I smiled as they wandered from place to place. The Boy decked out in a full blown snowsuit next to his baby brother in shorts. The pair of them melted my heart and reminded me that what you see is your choice.
I saw 2 brothers wandering around enjoying each other.
And for once, Autism didn’t matter one bit.