I am thankful for my voice, for my speech, for my communication. Having a brother who is non verbal has shown me how important something like this to a human being. We all may not even think of it as a blessing, but there are tons of people, not just ones with Autism, who cannot talk or communicate. I know that even I, take my communication for granted some times. Last week, my brother and mom came to visit me at work where they got to meet a lot of my clients. The two of them were blown away by how great each of them were at introducing themselves and carrying on conversation. And it is amazing! But when you're not in the presence of someone who does not talk every, single day -- you forget how grateful you should be.
I wish people could be more aware of the simple things like this that we all take for granted! Whether you write, draw, paint, talk, give speeches, use a device, etc. -- If you can talk and get your voice heard, you are lucky! Those with Autism, even the ones who can communicate, aren't that fortunate. They are not always able to voice their opinion, wants or needs. Sometimes they need help -- sometimes, it may not even be heard.
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.