I am thankful that Sammy does not have PICA, ruminate his food, or avoids certain foods due to texture. Including myself, everyone has weird foods they don't eat or are on specific diets -- but I am glad Sammy doesn't eat non-food items, refuse to eat, or puke up food. Mainly because it would cause such an inconvenience! I know that sounds horrible, but it's already hard enough for my mom to make sure he doesn't pee on the couch or prepare a typical family dinner while making sure Sammy doesn't stick his hand in a hot pan, could you imagine if she had to make sure she prepared a specific meal for him or had to make sure he wasn't eating hair off the floor?
I wish people were more aware of these types of things that are co-diagnosed with Autism sometimes. Autism isn't just want they portray on TVs or that one individual you met last year, each individual is completely different with unique behaviors, sensory issues, etc.
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.