Welcome to day one of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
Starting today, over a thousand bloggers are blogging daily throughout the month of April (except on Sundays), starting with A and devoting each consecutive day to another day of the alphabet.
My theme is "Days of our Lives". It encompasses anything that touches my life, or those whom I love, and today, I blog about my brother in law.
Do you have a person with the developmental disability of autism in your life? I do.
April is National Autism Awareness Month.
Blogging about A for Autism is a natural for me.
Even in purses.
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, thanks to the barriers of society, although there is increasing hope that more can be employed in good jobs.
I blogged about my brother in law last year for the A post and wanted to update you on what is going on in his life.
My brother in law has had a year that would have challenged many of us who are neurotypical (people who do not have autism). He had spent his entire life with his mother, who is now in her late 80's. She made the choice, long ago, to have "B", as I call my brother in law on my blog, stay with her. Her health, these last couple of years, has been an issue which my brother in law has had to adjust to.
We (my spouse and I) worry about his future - a lot.
Last July, his mother needed surgery. What was supposed to be several days in the hospital turned into about three weeks of hospitalization and rehab. During this time, "B" lived without his mother, in their home, although he was able to visit her several times a week. He was cared for by his sister during the week, and my spouse and I (we lived about 150 miles away at the time) on weekends.
In August, he and his mother moved up to where we live, into an apartment several miles from us. They also have another brother, and sister in law, who live about 20 minutes from them.
In October, his mother had to be hospitalized again, and this time, between the hospital and rehab, she was gone for some five weeks. This time, "B" made the choice to stay in the apartment, under our supervision. It was an interesting experience, a learning experience, for all of us, and I will blog about it another time.
There was only one night, out of all those nights, where he asked to stay with us.
"B" has a long way to go and may never be able to live independently without a lot of support. But he proved his strength this past year - and we are proud of him.
One thing I must admit is that my relationship with "B" is not that of pure love. I do, however, want to fight for him and his right to enjoy life to the fullest of his abilities. For example, there is the inspiring story of the "first man diagnosed with autism" (not really true), who is still alive.
Do you love a person who interacts with the world in a different way?