My Brother Jack

I was surprised when I found out my brother Jack has autism.

To me he wasn’t weird or odd.

That was just him.

He always asks a lot of questions, like what color shampoo people used.

He asked that one so much that I thought it was something people usually asked each other in a conversation.

He gets mad sometimes.

He gets mad when there is too much noise. He puts his hands over his ears and screams.

He worries a lot.

After I found out about his autism, I would play scenarios in my head.

If he didn’t have it what could have happened?

Would he be less angry when people used too many words or if the food didn’t come right away in the restaurant?

It’s ok to wonder what it could have been like.

But it won’t do you any good.

Because these questions don’t have answers.

If your brother or sister has autism, you need to be ready for the best and the worst.

Be prepared to feel like there is nothing you can do for him.

Be prepared to sit quietly near him when he is upset.

Be prepared to get mad and having to push that feeling down, so that you can help him.

I learned this from my other brothers who had experienced Jack when he was much younger and he didn’t have communication skills.

But I still try to learn how and understand how he thinks.

Jack doesn’t see things like I do.

For example, he likes to change the radio in the car a lot.

There is a button that goes to music stations that are clear and don’t have static.

He doesn’t use the button to go right to another station. He uses the tune dial that causes static and bits of songs that are chopped up and hard to hear.

I would personally use the button, but he never does.

He gets annoyed when there is too much noise, but he is okay with static and small pieces of music.

I may never understand him.

I can still be a good sister though.

All I need to do keep listening.

Written by, Rose Cariello

Rose Cariello is the daughter of Carrie Cariello.

Carrie Cariello is the author of What Color Is Monday, How Autism Changed One Family for the Better, and Someone I’m With Has Autism. She lives in Southern New Hampshire with her husband, Joe, and their five children. 

Carrie is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY Parents, the TODAY Show, Parents.com. She has been interviewed by NBC Nightly News, and also has a TEDx talk.

She speaks regularly about autism, marriage, and motherhood, and writes a weekly blog at www.carriecariello.com. One of her essays, “I Know What Causes Autism,” was featured as one of the Huffington Post’s best of 2015, and her piece, “I Know Why He Has Autism,” was named one of the top blog posts of 2017 by the TODAY Show.

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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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