April is Autism Awareness month! Happy Autism Awareness month to all of you affected by Autism. But a special "Happy AAM" to my little brother, Sammy! I am so thankful for everything you have taught me and for everything you have brought into my life and given me the experiences that I have had the honor of being a part of. You are an amazing young man and I love you so much!
I am thankful for Camp PALS - if it wasn't for my brother, I probably would never have became a part of this organization (or other ones like it) and would have never met some of the incredible people I meet and consider to be some of my closest friends - this has brought so much love and joy into my life and I don't know where I would be without it!
I wish the world would be more aware of how much Autism takes a toll on not only the individual, but the family - think about this the next time you stare at the family with the child who is tantrumming in the store - maybe there is something more to it, offer a hand instead of judging!
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.