I know that I can often express what I am feeling or what it is like to be a sister of Autism. I know that I can often think about what it must be like, or even try to imagine it. But, I literally have no idea what it is like to be stuck in your head, voiceless, like my brother. I have no idea what its like to get stuck on a particular thing or get frustrated over something I take advantage of every day. I can appreciate the fact that I can use the bathroom and brush my teeth, but I will never know what it means to be dependent on someone else like my brother (or my clients) can be.
I've been doing a lot of writing and analyzing literature/poems/etc. and decided that maybe I could write something about what I've been wondering: what it feels to be Autistic, what it feels like to not have a voice, what its like to be stuck in your head. For some reason, when I've overloaded with my own thoughts, I feel like I am drowning inside of my mind. So, I thought, maybe thats how Sammy feels? I know that I will never "get" exactly what he or anyone else with Autism goes through. I tried to put what it might be like for someone with Autism to constantly be inside their head, unable to express what they're thinking, and for the world around them not to even know what to do for them or even understand what is happening. I feel like, in some cases, people with Autism may not even understand what is going on with them. Why can everyone else talk? Why can everyone else do things independently? Anyways, here it is!
Lost in that sea of thoughts
Always drowning, no surface in sight
Struggling to keep paddling
With everyone around you
In their boats and life jackets
They watch you gulp in the tons of water
But no one moves
You wonder why no one moves
No one knows what to do
You gasp for air and try to scream
Falling deeper and deeper to the bottom
Each face looks less intrigued
They are more helpless than you are
You scramble for the help you need
Your arms get heavier
Your heart pounds harder
No help is coming
It’s like you can’t do anything
Helpless and under heavy water
People try to help you up now
But not even the strongest could pull you up
You know only what you have to do
It’s all up to you, You have to do it
Autism from a sibling's point of view...
My name is Paige and I am 24 years old. I graduated from Towson University with a Psychology Bachelors Degree. I am now working towards my Master's in Education of Autism and other Pervasive Disorders at Johns Hopkins. I am also a Behavior Data Specialist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute Neurobehavioral Inpatient Unit. My younger brother, Sammy, is 19 and has Autism. He is completely non-verbal, unaware of safety, is not toilet trained, cannot get himself dressed, and has difficulty with everyday activities that we all take advantage of. He works harder every single day of his life than anyone I know and he always does it with a smile on his face. He is my true hero and inspiration and because of him, I have dedicated my life to advocating and creating opportunities for individuals with Autism. I hope that I can make him proud and this blog is just a small part of the awareness I hope I can create about Autism and support other siblings impacted by Autism. I love you Sammy - thank you for everything.