Last night, we had Sammy's birthday party and I can't even begin to express my appreciation for everyone who attended, supported, and helped. With the help of Ivan, we were able to get Sammy a DJ for his party. While he enjoyed his favorite tunes, he was given the freedom to eat as many chips as he wanted. The freak of nature ate tons of full bags, stuffed his face onions and tomatoes, and downed about a gallon of coke and apple cider. Heaven for Sammy.
It is obvious that the people who took the time out of their Saturday to make the trip to my brother's birthday are some of the most meaningful individuals in his life. We could not do it without any of them. I know that my heart breaks when I think of the thought that Sammy did not have opportunity to invite any friends to his party, but I know he and I are so fortunate to have all of those that were invited in his life. I cannot even put my thankfulness into words to show how much I appreciate each and every one of you and how much I love each of you.
In addition to celebrating Sammy's birthday, we were also celebrating the completion of Sammy's fence (as I described in a previous blog post). Because of Bill, the Boiling Springs VFW organized and helped complete the entire project and we are so thankful for that as well. Although our party was rained out, Sammy spent his entire Sunday recuperating from his "chip hang over" by walking around his newly fenced yard. Needless to say, he is a happy birthday boy.
I know I've said it a million times, but I just don't know how to say it just right to make sure my appreciation comes across the way I want to. Thank you to everyone who has been there for my brother. Without your support, I don't know what we would do. You are all amazing.
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.