AUTISM AWARENESS WEEK
For this week to help raise autism awareness I will be posting a blog everyday to share some remarkable ladies and their journey through life as a mum, teacher or sibling of a child with Autism. I will be sharing their challenges, the highs and the lows and I will now introduce you to Carla and here is her story ……
My ‘not-so-little’ little brother
Writing about my brother is not an easy task. He is a nightmare! Grumpy, stroppy, stubborn, cruel and yet so ridiculously loving caring and generous I can’t love him enough!
My little brother and I have always been close, growing up with Just our Mom we have always been the 3 musketeers. Ben used to lash out at me when we were little, I was a spoilt child and fairly high maintenance, Ben was very easy going until I wound him up too much. He never physically hurt me but he did try and break my bedroom door down with a yellow toy baseball bat because I had been horrible to him. Most of the fallings out were just sibling rivalry, we are polar opposites. I am outgoing and a control freak, he is very shy and laid back. I went to school everyday and he used to run home because he hated being away from our home. I studied hard and still didn’t get good grades, he barely did his homework and got great grades – you get the idea!
When Ben was in his late 20’s he was diagnosed with a few mental health issues, depression and social anxiety to start. At 29 he paid £400 for an ASD test. The tester came back with the conclusion of Asperger’s and told us that he has one of the most severe cases she had ever come across. This put Ben into a deeper depression, he hated the diagnosis but mainly because he didn’t understand it. Being in the teaching world I am lucky enough to have had lots of training and experience with people on the spectrum and so I felt thankful that we finally were able to put his behaviours over the years down to an actual condition and after a few months my mom and Ben also found it easier to understand and work with rather than against the diagnosis. Ben getting his diagnosis has helped so much, he gets a lot of support from the mental health team and now we understand more we are able to recognise how to deal with him and his behaviours much quicker.
Ben is now 30 and 6ft 5. On paper he is an adult, in reality he is a 14 year old boy. It is hard to understand how he managed to go to work everyday and no one ever picked up on the Asperger’s at earlier dates but we are immensely grateful for the support received in the last few years. During a recent assessment Ben was asked how he copes with noise to which he replied ‘my sister’s mouth never stopped at home so I’m ok with It!’ I’m taking that as a compliment!! Ben told me he loved me last year, he has never said it before, this meant so much to me coming from a brother I have always fought with. I am sure we will always fall out and row because that is what we are like but we have a deal, we can be as mean as we need to be to each other but no one else will ever say a bad word about us! We might be total opposites in personality but we are big sister and little brother and no one is breaking that bond.
Written for Autism Awareness Week – I would like to thank the inspirational and amazing women that have shared their stories with me. Click here for The National Autistic Society and also here for the charity Parents In Need.
Here are the other stories from this week: