Sibling spotlight **
The effects of autism impact the whole family not just the individual . Growing up as a sibling to someone who has severe – non verbal autism is not easy . Alyssa has gone through some very difficult phases including aggression towards her siblings .
My daughter Kierra is 18 years old and she just graduated from high school . She has had a lot of sacrifices due to living in the world of autism .
Many she didn’t realize she was making as some are much obvious than others . There are countless sacrifices and losses through the years too many to list some minor and some more difficult .
Kierra is Alyssa’s person . Her presence alone gives her great joy . At times is it has been overwhelming . Countless times of needing hugs and just being near her . When anxious she will seek her out . She has also been the target of her aggression which had thankfully lessened over the years .
There is so much to take into consideration when living with severe autism . Vacations , days out , seemingly minor things can not be done on a whim . Even extra curricular activities can be a challenge ; getting to and from practices , performances anything last minute can be difficult .
This girl has endured it all . Most of the time with a smile on her face . She gives Alyssa so much joy and I am so grateful for that . The extra hugs and attention that mean so much to her ( even if it drives her crazy sometimes she still does it )
Helping to support us by watching her while I am at work or so me and my husband can get a break whether running and errands or grabbing dinner together. I have to say all my kids are amazing and they all help out and more importantly love her , and it’s means the world to me and I know I don’t tell them enough .
It’s part of being a family I say but it’s really so much more than that.
Kierra thank you for all that you do . Thank you for being such an amazing little big sister .
I want you to know I see you and I appreciate it . I am so proud of you. I am sorry for all the things you had to give up and for the simple things that were so difficult because of autism . I am sorry if I couldn’t always be 100 percent present . I do believe this has made you a stronger , compassionate and loving person . This year so much was missed out on due to the pandemic . You handled it well probably because you are used to adapting .
We are so proud of you . Despite all this you are happy, positive and easy going . We appreciate you and love you so much simply
for being you .