Today on World Autism Day, I am passing the blog post on to Peter's sister, Charlotte. She turns 14 in a few weeks. When asked what she would like to share, Charlotte wrote:
Just as autism is a spectrum disorder, feelings of those caring for and living with kids with autism are a spectrum.
As Peter's big sister and a teenager, I sometimes am worried about him. I worry about him starting middle school, I worry about him being crushed by someone who just doesn't get it, and, most of all, I worry about his future. Yes, siblings are faced with a lot of the same worries as parents, in addition to all the "sibling problems" like how to get Peter to behave when friends come over.
I also am extremely proud of him, almost all the time. Recently, Peter wrote his D.A.R.E essay, a very short, simple but great essay. All the words were his, and when I was little, I remember wondering if he'd even have words. I was always talking, and my silent little brother was interesting to me, confusing even.
Honestly, I could go on and on and on talking about my feelings towards my little brother. Annoyance, happiness, embarrassment, sheer adoration of his cuteness, but most of all, love. The bottom line is, I love Peter, no matter what's going on in his head or how many times he throws a tantrum. Why? Because I'm a sibling of a sweet little guy with PDD-NOS, and that's just what we do.