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Posts Tagged ‘siblings’

A lot of books about autism have been given to me.  I haven’t read all of them yet.  I kind of pick and choose depending on what mood I’m in.  Many of the books are reference books and many are based on someone’s life.  Most of the books that I have seen are written by a parent of an autistic child. 

Recently my son’s teacher and my mother-in-law both told me about an article in our local newspaper.  It was about a writer who was coming to our small town to release her new book titled “How to be a Sister”.  My mother-in-law suggested that it would be great for me to contact her and get her book.  Hmmm. Get a book titled “How to be a Sister”?  I dont’ even have a sister.

The author of this book titled “How to be a sister”  is Eileen Garvin. She does have a sister. An older sister. A sister with severe autism. In this book, Eileen  narrates her own personal experiences of being raised in a family with her sister Margaret–who has severe autism.  This book is nothing like the others I have read.  As I said before, most books I have read are by the parents of children with autism. There are also many great books written by people with autism. 

What about siblings of children with autism?  Aren’t they affected too?  What roles do they play?  Eileen had a special bond with her sister that naturally placed her into a role as caregiver.  One of the things Eileen mentions is that “siblings of people with disabilities have all the same hardships as parents-only longer”. 

This book describes autism from the sibling’s point of view.  But this book is not meant for just siblings to read. I think everybody should read it. It is witty, humorous, heart-breaking, and affirming all at the same time.  Nothing is sugar-coated in this book. It is the real thing.  I am thankful for this book. I am thankful for the author. I am thankful for her sister Margaret. I am also thankful that my mother-in-law took Alec to the bookstore with her to buy Eileen’s book and have her sign it.  Alec was thrilled to meet Eileen and he was thrilled to know that this stranger knew exactly what he was going through.   http://www.howtobeasister.com/ 

HTBASCover

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Shut up!

I hate it when my kids say “Shut-up!” to each other. So rude. So disrespectful. I suppose there are a lot worse things they could say to each other. I’m sure they’ve said them. But “Shut up” seams to be the number one top choice phrase between my two boys. They know the words have power. The power to tick each other off and the power to make mommy’s hair fall out. Alec will usually tell Matt to “shut up” as a result of Matthew scolding him or telling on him.

Matt: Alec, you can’t eat marshemellows. They not healthy for breakfast.
Alec: I can too!
Matt: Mommy, Alec eating marshmellows!
Alec: Shut up, Matt!

Matthew will often use the “shut-up” phrase out of context. Such as when an expectation isn’t being met:

Matt: You want to swing with me, Alec?
Alec: Not right now.
Matt: SHUT UP!!!

Well, I guess he still gets his point accross :8:

But still, I can’t stand hearing it.

A couple days ago John took Alec and Matt to his grandmother’s house while I stayed home. Alec and Matt love playing in their big green yard.  On that particular day, a boy who lived accross the street from his grandmother’s came over to play with them. The kids wrestled, chased, and played catch. They were having a blast.  All while John and his family observed from inside the house. At one moment, the neighbor boy had a stick and was trying to poke Matt with it. Matt protested and then the boy looked at Alec.  “What’s wrong with your brother? He’s stupid!” the boys said.  Alec marched over to the boy, “SHUT UP! Don’t poke him with the stick, he doesn’t like it!  And don’t call him stupid!  He has autism and its a brain disorder! I told you that!”

After that, the boy didn’t say another mean word about Matt.  According to Alec, the boy started playing nicely with Matt for the remainder of the time.  It’s probably a good thing that I wasn’t there. I tend to want to interfere when I should just wait and see how the kids work it out.  Chances are that if I observed the altercation, I might have had to demonstrate for the boy what it feels like to be poked with a stick. 

I was so proud to hear how Alec handled the boy. Never was I so happy to hear about my child saying “Shut-up!” to another :).

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