While I was home, I had an amazing time spending the weekend with my family. Sammy and I went to CostCo with our mom and he had me cracking up all day with his selections.
I am thankful for the dumb, silly things that crack me up about Sammy that we can't explain. I have no idea why he shovels his food in like a goat, I have no idea what he is laughing at when he cracks up at the most random times, I have no idea what he is thinking when he sticks his foot in someone's face, I have no idea why he gets so excited over something like a bag of peppers. These are such little and ridiculous things - but they crack me up and make Sammy who he is!
I wish people were more aware of things like tantrums that Sammy and others with Autism often go through. As grateful as we are for the days when Sammy is well behaved and content around our friends and family -- it is a very small number of you who had witnessed a "tantrum." Although there are cases where individuals will have them way more than Sammy does or way more aggressively, Sammy's are just as intense when he has his. For one, it makes the world stop. Nothing else is going to happen until the tantrum is through - it could last an hour, or a whole day. He had one on Saturday and it lasted a little over an hour. He bites, stomps, shovels through food, takes out the most ridiculous items, screams, etc. In some cases, he is needed to be restrained but someone like my mom can no longer do this on her own - sometimes I can do it on my own, but most often not. Although this could happen once a week, its still something that causes Sammy obvious discomfort/unhappiness, along with everyone surrounded by it.
Autism from a sibling's point of view...
My name is Paige and I am 26 years old. I graduated from Towson University with a Psychology Bachelors Degree and from Johns Hopkins with a Post-Bacc Certificate in Education of Autism and other Pervasive Disorders at . I recently left my job at Kennedy Krieger Institute and began my Master's Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at University of South Florida. My younger brother, Sammy, is 20 and has Autism. He is non-vocal, 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.