This week we are featuring the perspectives of siblings that have a brother or sister with autism.

theautismblog: Your name and age:       

My name is Justin and I am 16 years old.

theautismblog: Your sister’s name and age:

My sister’s name is Carolina and she is 14 years old.

theautismblog: What kind of things do you do for fun?

Things I do for fun include running and playing video games. School is something that is very important to me and I use a lot of my free time for school activities.

theautismblog: What kind of things does your sister do for fun?

My sister is odd because the “things” she finds enjoyable fluctuate constantly through time. My sister consistently watches “Barney” and plays with string for fun.

theautismblog: Do you guys spend much time together? What do you do?

Honestly on my daily schedule, I don’t set aside time to spend with her.

theautismblog: What have you taught your sister?

My sister’s level of autism is so extreme that things she previously learned she forgets within a few months. Previously I taught her how to do simple things like playing clapping games and singing, but now she barely remembers the hand movements required to play.

theautismblog: What has your sister taught you?

My sister taught me the virtue of patience and how sometimes simple things or actions are the most enjoyable. My sister can’t verbally teach me, but actions do speak louder than words.

theautismblog: What kinds of things are hard to do with your sister?

The main conflict with my sister is traveling. Carrie’s personality and mood varies in inconsistent manners that make attempts to travel a rigorous process. It isn’t a huge hassle, but it is definitely annoying.

theautismblog: Can you think of a time you felt really proud of your sister?

Not off the top of my head, but I feel proud when she goes on the toilet by herself.

theautismblog: Does your sister ever embarrass or frustrate you? If yes, how do you handle it?

Children with autism always annoy their siblings and it’s unavoidable. The ways I cope with my sister is to accept my sister for who she is and not to shy away when my sister is doing something embarrassing.

theautismblog: Is there anything your family hasn’t been able to do or it’s been harder because of your sister?

As a family, we rarely go on vacations, so yes.

theautismblog: How is your day-to-day life affected?

My sister doesn’t usually wake me up but sometimes I need to help her sleep. Also, she does limit having friends at my home because of her sporadic nature.

theautismblog: Do you feel like you get enough attention from your parents?

I feel like I receive plenty of attention.

theautismblog: What kinds of things do you do for fun with your parents? Does your sister ever affect this?

We occasionally watch TV and play games, but homework and other activities that I do limit my “fun time” with my family. My sister could affect this, but she doesn’t.

theautismblog: Where do you go if you need space from your sister?

Luckily, the only place that my sister doesn’t go is my room so I have plenty of privacy from my sister.

theautismblog: Do you have any friends that also have a brother or sister with autism? If yes, how did you meet them?

I know a few people from school, but none of my close friends have a sibling with autism.

theautismblog: Have you been to Sibshops at Children’s? If so, what did you think?

Yes, I have done Sibshops for around 5 years and enjoyed it each time I went. The experience was fulfilling and outright fun. I would recommend it for anyone that has a sibling with autism.

theautismblog: If you put yourself in your sister’s shoes, what do you think they would say about you as a brother?

Hmm. My sister would think of me as a typical teenage brother that doesn’t spend too much time with her. But, she would know that I love her with every fiber of my body.

All week we are sharing the perspectives of siblings who have a brother or sister with autism. In case you missed it, check out yesterday’s interview and stay tuned for tomorrow’s interview with 10 year old Margaux.

Part 5 in this series

Part 4 in this series

Part 2 in this series

Part 1 in this series