Brothers and Sisters with Autistic Siblings Have Their Say

My name is Ella. I have a brother named Kyle. I love him so much. My brother is 8 and I am 6½ years old.

Me and Kyle play together on the swing set. We play on the playground at school before lunch. We play a game called “feet on couch.” We put our feet together and then we see who pushes the furthest and then that person is the winner. I made up this game. He likes it.

Kyle takes special medicine and he really doesn’t like one kind, but he eats it. He gets a shot in his butt sometimes. Kyle eats special food. Some kinds of food make him sick.

We have a bunk bed in our room. Kyle sometimes comes up in my bed in the morning and wants me to read him a story. His favorite stories are Rack, Shack and Benny and The Tooth Book. I like reading him books. Sometimes I help him get dressed because he gets his clothes on inside out or backwards.

I feel happy about Kyle because he does things that I like except when he hits or kicks. Sometimes I am impressed about him because he goes outside and plays with my friends. He wants us to push him on the swing. I know what he wants because I know his sign language. He talks sometimes and I can tell what he says because I watch him do his therapy, so I know some things that he is talking about.

This year I ran in a race and got more than $300 for TACA. My mom is a TACA teacher. I love Kyle and I want to help him get better. When I grow up I might be an autism therapist too.

Ella Rupe, 6 1/2 years old
Milwaukee, Wisconsin


My name is Callaway Cook, and I am in fourth grade. My brother who has autism is in fourth grade too. My brother’s name is McCrae Cook, and he is actually 14 months older than I am, but because of his disability my parents held him back in second grade. I used to worry about him all the time, and sometimes he would embarrass me. But now he is getting better and is really fun to play with.

He is considered recovered and talks and plays with me and our other friends more than ever. Just last night he and I started a Mariachi band and I was the backup and he the lead singer, which is a big change. He was even making jokes as he sang about my mom, dad and grandmother. He is in a regular classroom now across the hall from my classroom, and all of the cool kids really like him and that makes me happy. This Sunday we are going to watch a premiere of a movie McCrae and I made at a film camp with Joey Travolta called The Really Really Late Show. I cannot wait to see it because it will just show how much McCrae has improved even since then.

My brother’s doctor is the famous Dr. Jerry Kartzinel; one time while we were at Dr. Jerry’s office, my brother put a lizard on his ear and asked Dr. Jerry if he liked it. I love my brother and he makes me laugh.

I am so glad he has gotten better. My parents told him he could beat autism and he is every day − just ask him and he will tell you, “I am beating autisms (very loudly).” The last time we saw Dr. Jerry, he told my family the McCrae was coming to the end of his visits with him. I pray that my brother continues to heal and that he will have the normal life that he so deserves. I hope that in middle school and high school we have many more good times together like dances and ball games!

Callaway Cook
Kingsland, GA, USA


My name is Charlie Edwards. I am 15 years old, and I live in Shropshire, England. My younger brother, Jonathon, aged 12, is severely autistic. It’s been a particularly hard weekend for Jonathon. He became very sick having caught a virus that has been going around his school. The bus that is usually packed full of disabled children came to collect him for school on Friday morning. On Thursday it had been packed; on Friday there were only two children on board. It’s now Sunday, and Jon has seemed to recover after several days of not eating (which he can’t afford to do – he’s very thin anyway) and lying in a hot heap on his bed. Eating has always been a big issue for my brother. It can take up to an hour to feed him at dinner time. For the last few days he’s pushed everything away.

He wears pads, he can’t use a loo. For the first time ever, on Friday he successfully used a toilet, but he was being sick into a bowl at the same time – a champagne moment were it not so tragically sad to see.

As the days have gone by he’s thinner and thinner, his hands look enormous compared to the rest of him. He is the last person on this earth who deserves this.

At least he recovered from his bug; his autism, on the other hand, will stay with him for the rest of his and my family’s life. We can never hope to go out like other families do; we’re trapped in our own home. The only regular excursion from our house xqis to visit our local supermarket. Even this can be a struggle at times. From screaming down the place to soiling himself in the middle of the aisle, Jon gives it all. Of course he doesn’t intend to make our lives a struggle, but it’s one of the things that comes with autism, and by now my family and I have learned to simply take it in our stride.

I’m starting to think more and more about the future. It’s a real worry. What happens when both Mum and Dad are gone? How am I going to care for Jon? If I put him into care, how will I know he’s getting all the love and attention he deserves? I hope that The Autism Trust Centers for autistic children become a reality. That way, the parents and carers of autistic children can rest a little easier knowing that they will be given the best treatments possible designed around autism.

Charlie Edwards, 15 years old
Shropshire, England


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