Thank You For Always Having Your Brother’s Back

To my eldest son,

On Monday you asked, “Mummy what is autism like?” I told you my answer, and we sat and watched an animated explanation, showing how your brother sees the world differently to you. 

As I waited outside the school gates for you yesterday, you saw us and came running up with your arms held wide.

“Hello, Rhys” you said, taking your brother’s hand in yours. 

The cars flew by us on the busy road, and you mentioned the noise and how scary it must be for Rhys, remembering the video we watched and the enhanced sensory overload that would have met his ears.

You turned to him and said, “It’s ok Rhys, I’m here” as you held his hand all the way to the park gate and away from the noise. 

A few hours later while we sat in the car, you asked “Will Rhys always be autistic?”

I responded “Yes, but with our support he will be able to do everything you can do”. 

“Except for maths” you immediately corrected “Rhys is good with numbers, he will need to help me!”

We continued to speak about our own challenges and what we found hard. About how practicing the tough stuff makes it easier, and where it is too hard to overcome, tricks, strategies and even technology can be used to make things possible. 

As you sat in the back of the car with your brother, you said “Rhys help?” as you took his kinder egg treat from his hands and helped him with the wrapper, his little fingers struggled to open.

You used simple words when you engaged, in the way you have seen myself talk to Rhys. You know how to communicate with him and instinctively know when he wants help.

His trust in your actions is evident, in his willingness to let you help him.

I don’t think I ever had the maturity you have when I was your age, or even twice your age.

The view you have of autism out performs the attitude many adults I have ever come across.

Your ability to see the best in everyone and not being afraid to ask questions and help others who don’t find things as easy as you.

That is the mark of an amazing character.

My worries for Rhy’s future decrease every time I see you next to him.

Your keenness to learn, to understand, to support are beyond the abilities found in many fully grown adults.

Don’t ever be afraid to stand up for your brother, no matter who questions you.

You don’t support him because of his challenges or his autism, you support him because he is your brother, and that’s what brothers do.

I am so proud of you every day.

With you at Rhys’ side, I know you have his back. But you don’t only have his back, you back up every person who has challenges through autism.

You raise awareness through your need to gain knowledge and the help you give your brother. 

And you are only eight years old!

Love you always,
Your Mum

Written by, Margaret Sutherland

Maggs writes about her family, their lives and her son’s challenges. She shares her experiences to help other parents who are living them too and to raise awareness of autism. To show that her family is just the same as every other family. When Rhys was diagnosed with autism, I became more and more lonely. I was thrown into a new world, with new rules, and no one to turn to. As my son sat disconnected from the world, my friend’s children would be running around together, talking and engaging. I was lost, with no idea where to turn or what to do. That was when A&Me was born. The blog is real. It depicts the hardships, challenges and achievements with a lot of humour mixed in. She knows life is hard, but in every hardship there is positivity and a place of learning. Follow A&Me on Facebook for a daily read.  www.aandme.co.uk 

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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