The Faces (Beside the Faces) of Autism: Meet Mason
With every child I feature on the Faces of Autism, I get the parent's input and perspective. This year I decided to talk to a few sibling's of the featured kids because, realistically, their lives have drastically changed when their younger brother or sister (or both) started showing signs of Autism. As parents, we try our best to look at the bright side of an Autism diagnosis because we love our children, with or without the label. But we are not the only ones that are affected. So, without further ado, here is the first sibling story.
Meet Mason, the 12 year old brother to Dane, who was featured HERE. I asked Mason some very simple things about what life is like having a brother with Autism. Here's what he had to say.
Mason said that his brother does not listen to him or his parents, and that is a change that he had to adjust to. It may seem frustrating when a younger sibling has, for lack of better wording, a different set of rules.
When asked what it is like having a sibling with Autism, Mason said that it is not that fun. He does state that his brother is very smart, and that is something he wants people to know.
As for advice he would have for other kids whose sibling/s have, or are in the process of getting, an Autism diagnosis, "Be ready."
Mason is a young man of few words, at least to my questions, but it is important for people to realize that these kids' lives become very different when their younger sibling has Autism, or any special need, really. We, as parents and community, need to remember to show them support as well. There have been studies done on mothers of children with Autism that show they have stress levels comparable to combat soldiers, and we sometimes forget the stress of the other children in the family. So if you know a family that has a child with Autism, don't forget to show some appreciation for the other children in the family. They deserve some credit, too.
If you suspect your child may have an Autism Spectrum Disorder, there are great supports in the community. One of my favorites is BisMan Autism Families on Facebook.