Today, April 1, our blog posts are to about a topic beginning with "A". Tomorrow, "B", and so forth.
Blogging about A for Autism is a natural for me.
I am the proud sister in law of a man in his 50's with autism, a developmental disability that impacts the ability of a person to interact socially and communicate with others. Autism is a spectrum disorder - some individuals can live lives with less help than others. Many never live up to their full potential, although there is increasing hope for good jobs.
|Sign in Charleston, South Carolina, March 2015|
The world my brother in law grew up in influenced a lot of his life, as it does for us all. It also influenced the choices that were made for him - both in childhood and adulthood. That world also shaped his personality and how he behaves now. This was a world without early intervention, without special education programs.
Last year, my spouse gained guardianship of his brother. That does not make my spouse the boss of my brother in law - no, far from it. Rather, it makes him his brother's advocate.
For his entire life, "B" has lived with his mother in New York State. My father in law passed away over 15 years ago. Since then, it's been just the two of them in a house that once was the home to an entire family. "B"'s siblings, including my spouse, grew up and left. B grew up and is still there. He has lived in the same house for almost his entire life. He has his own room, and his own bathroom.
People with autism do not cope well with change.
Some major changes are coming to "B"'s life as his mother ages. We know he is aware of that on some level, but his thoughts are unknown to us. Autism makes it so difficult for him to communicate with us. We suspect he has a rich inner life, but it will be forever locked away from those of us who love him.
Do you have an individual on the "spectrum" in your life?