A Sibling’s Perspective
I was sitting on the couch after school, my legs criss crossed as I stared out the window lost in thought.
I heard a noise coming from the kitchen and I turn my head and I see my sister getting something from the freezer. I watch her from the corner of my eye as she pulls out a popsicle.
She comes over and sits on the couch across from me. She looks at me and smiles and crosses her legs too.
I can’t help but smile because the simplest things make her so happy. She looks at me with her big green eyes.
I ask her if her pop is good and she nods and laughs, I don’t expect an answer because she doesn’t talk.
I am the youngest of four children. The torch has been passed as my brother says and now the responsibility of watching my sister falls on me.
My sister is older than me by 8 years. She has severe non verbal autism.
She can’t be home alone, someone always has to supervise her.
Sometimes it feels like a lot of responsibility, after all I am only a teenager.
She is mostly easy to take care of but you never know when something can upset her.
Her smiles can turn into blood curdling screams in an instant.
The other day I was setting up a virtual speech appointment for her as my mom was running late, and she got very upset. She was throwing herself on the floor screaming and throwing things.
I try not to lose my patience as it is best to stay calm when she gets like this. It is not easy though. My mom came home and I went in my room and shut the door to drown out the sounds,
Having a sister with a disability has significantly impacted my life. At times it seems so unfair that I didn’t get to have a normal childhood. There are many times we had to leave events early or even simple things like the park when I was having fun. I couldn’t have friends over because her behavior was too unpredictable when I was younger.
When I get frustrated my mom is quick to point out it is harder for her than anyone. She is the one who is unable to communicate. I realize that and I feel bad because I know she can’t help it.
Although my sister is the one with autism, it affects the whole family. We have all had to make sacrifices.
Sometimes I look at her and wonder what life would be like if she didn’t have these struggles. Would she of taught me how to drive, yell at me for stealing her clothes, would she give me advice? What would she be like? I know I can’t dwell on those things.
She has learned and improved so much over the years. I spend a lot more time with her now that I am the one watching her. She loves to bake and do laundry with me so I always let her help.
She tries so hard at everything she does. She has started saying words and she is so proud of herself. Things that are so easy for others take so much work for her. I am so proud of all her successes and I always cheer her on.
Watching her learn something new or being surprised about something she knows is the best feeling.
My sister loves with her whole heart. She is happy and always makes me laugh. She has taught me patience and I can see how strong she is. She inspires me to be a better person, a better sister. I wish her life could be easier, that she could communicate better with us. I will try anything I can to help make her path easier.
I couldn’t be more proud to share my daughter Lexi’s senior essay. She is an amazing sister to Alyssa 💕