Why I Don’t Wish My Brother’s Autism Would Disappear

Dear Autism,

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 9.49.39 AM First of all, I’d like to say that you light up my world. You’ve made my brother, Harry, the way he is, and I’d like to thank you for that. Because of you, I’ve gotten to know Harry better as a person, and I’ve learned to accept him for who he is.

In addition to teaching me acceptance, you’ve also taught me what being unique is all about. Even though Harry has a harder time learning than I do, doesn’t understand a lot of things and acts differently than I do, he’s just like any other person. He wants others to love him, he wants to make new friends, and most all, he wants to have fun. Harry is lucky because he’s surrounded by people who love him unconditionally. He deserves to live a long and happy life.

Despite your many pros, you also have some cons. Sometimes, Harry uses anger to solve his problems because he doesn’t quite understand how to solve his problems in a proper manner. But most of the time, Harry views the world as a burst of light. I wish I could view the world the way he does. I remember when we were in high school together, Harry would greet everyone he knew, no matter what clique he or she was in. A moment from his high school days that brought me tears of joy was when he received his Senior Superlative: “Most Likely to Brighten Your Day.” That showed me the students at our high school not only accept him — they also treat him just like everybody else.

Finally, I’d like to thank you for showing me to never judge a book by its cover. My brother is different, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have the same opportunities as everyone else. He’s capable of having a career doing what he loves (a librarian) and of learning to do things on his own.

Autism, you have some flaws, but in the end, my life would not be the same without you. So, can you please do me one big favor? Don’t disappear. Harry, my love for you will always be unconditional. I couldn’t ask for a better brother.



The Mighty is asking its readers the following: If you could write a letter to the disability or disease you (or a loved one) face, what would you say to it? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post [email protected] Please  include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.

Want to end the stigma around disability? Like us on Facebook.

And sign up for what we hope will be your favorite thing to read at night.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

This Resourceful Grandfather Found a Beautiful Way to Handle His Grief

Roger Leggett felt immense heartache four years ago. In a span of just a few weeks, Leggett, from Atlanta, lost his 24-year-old son to heat stroke, and his then 4-year-old granddaughter was diagnosed with brain cancer, according to USA Today. After witnessing a woman in the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hospital struggle to manage her [...]

Autism, I’m Going To Be Honest With You

To Autism, I’m not going to begin my letter with “dear” Autism — you don’t deserve that greeting. You don’t really deserve anything. You’re nothing to me because my son is not defined by you. My son is defined by his beautiful nature and the unconditional love of his family. His foundation is built on these [...]

How One Song Unlocked the Secret to Treating This Man’s Untreatable Disorder

In 2007, Frederico Bitti, an Italian journalist, was conducting an interview when he was suddenly unable to look at his colleague. Each time he tried to look to his left, an unknown force pushed his head in the opposite direction. At first, doctors couldn’t diagnose his condition, so his symptoms worsened, according to The Globe and Mail. Bitti [...]

The ‘R’ Word I Call My Brother

He hit me. Our petty argument had turned into a fistfight. My 20-year-old brother, little only in age, had delivered a blow to my left arm and a swift kick to my right thigh. I thought the only rules in fighting were “never hit a girl” and “no kicking,” but I seemed to have been [...]