What do I want for this Awareness day? It's simple. I want people to stop staring, glaring, judging, and being so inconsiderate when they come in contact with my brother and others like him. We're all humans, he has feelings just like the rest of us. I want people to realize what Autism really is.
My brother is my sole inspiration for all of my goals and dreams. He is the reason I am who I am today. Without Sammy, I don't know where I would be or who I would be. I wonder if I would be judgmental? Would I be involved with the things that I am involved in? Sammy is a strong and amazing human being with such potential. I know, as his sister, that one day he will overcome the battle of Autism. I want others people to also see that. I want people to see in Sammy what I see in him.
I am thankful for my brother and for everything that he has taught me. I wouldn't change anything about our relationship as siblings. I love him and am so proud of everything he has and will accomplish. Autism isn't a disability, its just another hurdle someone has to jump to keep going. Sammy wakes up everyday and Autism hits him in the face and he is knocked down, but he continues to get up and keeps going. Sammy is the hardest worker I know.
1 in 88 are affected by Autism -- this number has grown so much in the past 15 years since my brother was first diagnosed. So many people are affected by Autism and I hope that World Autism Awareness Day will help people to be more understanding and compassionate. All around the world buildings and monuments are lit up in the color blue to spread awareness for Autism today. It's amazing what we can achieve to spread awareness, I wonder what we could achieve if everyone listened.
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.