Monday, March 16, 2009

The Chocolate Effect: A Story For Autism Siblings

This story is my own material. Although it is fictional, (and admittedly still needs work,) it is based on my own experiences. I am NOT an author by any means, I just wanted to try doing something for young autism siblings out there. They need to know that they are not alone.

We autism siblings learn the value of true friendship young. We have experiences of both frustration and joy that many of our peers many not understand for many years. But most of all, we know how to love and we fight for our siblings with autism.

The Chocolate Effect

Yesterday when I saw my little brother walk out of the kitchen with an odd high pitched giggle and something brown around his mouth, I looked in the kitchen. I found a chocolate candy wrapper lying there on the floor by the cabinets. I was angry. Who left a piece of chocolate candy where he could find it? I knew then that the next day, today, was going to be a bad day.

It just happened to be clothes shopping day. We had planned to all go shopping at the Emporium. So, off we all went on an afternoon shopping trip, mom, my sister, my brother and I. It took more than one of us to keep up with my little brother. He was weaving through racks and climbing underneath them. It is hard to shop that way. I started loosing hope of getting a new shirt. Then we all smelt an especially messy, well, messy. Mom took my brother to the restroom to change him. She called to me to get more wipes. I was embarrassed, but I sensed her urgency and I ran out to the car to get more. When I got back there were some fashionable teenage shoppers in the restroom. “Eew, what is that smell?” one of them said, and they giggled as if the girl had made a good joke. I could have climbed under a rock. I gave the wipes to mom and the teenage girls left. We went home.

Later that evening my best friend Allison came over to work on biology with me. She was my lab partner and we had a write up to do. The minute she walked in my little brother was clinging on her arm, blowing in her face, and getting upset if we tried to ignore him. It was time to do the thing that we were often compelled to do in such cases. Allison and I ran into my room and locked the door behind us. This usually led to 15 minutes of my brother pounding and screaming at the door. It was always so loud that we couldn’t hear each other talk. Today it was 20 minutes of screaming and pounding. We tried to ignore it, and when he finally found something else to interest him, we could talk about how bad the day had been.

The next day when I came home from school, I walked in the door and heard a high pitched giggle. Oh no, I thought, left over chocolate effect. But the little person of my brother ran to me smiling. I could tell this day was going to be better than yesterday. He handed me a crayon and pulled me by the hand to the kitchen table that was scattered with paper. He wanted me to color with him. So I did.

When Mom later discovered us coloring at the kitchen table, she told me that she wanted to go to the grocery store for some things to make dinner. So, once again, we all went on an afternoon shopping trip. There we all were walking along at the grocery store, mom, my sister, and me, all except my little brother. He was galloping along with us, waving his arms around, and jabbering to himself and anyone walking by. Sometimes we held his hand, but he stayed with us. All except for the time he ran off to look at the lobster tank. On our way out, some older boys from my school were walking in, and they looked at my brother as if he was bothering them. I ignored those boys and their lip and eyebrow ring faces. Then, I felt sorry for them. I thought about how much they were missing. Their reaction made me think they would probably never take the time to get to know a person like my little brother.

Later that afternoon, Allison came over again. We had work to do to make up for not doing it the evening before. My little brother clung on her arm, but he was not blowing on her face today. It was a nice day outside. We went out to the backyard with our papers and got my brother up on the trampoline. He actually separated himself from us and jumped, and jumped, and jumped. Allison and I got our write up done. Allison is a true friend.

After Allison left and we went in the house for dinner, my little brother gave me a hug. I hugged him back, because I know how sincere he is. I looked down into his hazel eyes. I remembered the day when he was a baby and I told mom that he would have hazel eyes like mine. She insisted they would be blue and wouldn’t believe me until one day, they just were. I thought about the day when he was a toddler and my world fell apart alittle when I learned of autism. I thought about my joy when he eventually learned to hug me and show me that he loves me.


Janelle said...

Thanks so much for sharing this! It's great! In fact, I think you should enter it in the Write-Away contest over at Scribbit. This month's theme is "sweet," and entries are due on Wednesday. Check it out here: The Write-Away Contest Marches On.

Celeste Jean said...

Thanks Janelle. Brittany and I are considering trying to publish something like this...she is a brilliant illustrator.