4 Things I’d Like My Future Step-Siblings to Know About My Autism
In less than a week, you will become my step-sister and step-brothers. Over the last year, we’ve had many adventures together: the amusement park, the science museum, the water park, the movies, restaurants and so many others. It’s been fabulous, but I’d be lying if I said it was always easy. You see, I have autism, a developmental disability, which sometimes makes things harder for me. Here are four things I’d like you to understand about me before I become your step-sister:
1. Why I get to use my gadgets at restaurants.
You probably don’t think it’s fair that I get to use my iPad, phone and or headphones at restaurants. If you tried using them, you’d more than likely be told no. Why am I allowed to have fidget toys at the dinner table or you’re not? Let’s think about it like this: When I play my iPad, it allows me to cope better. My iPad serves as a tool. This tool allows me to focus and participate to the best of my ability. It keeps me calm.
Sometimes, the world of autism can just be too much and this helps. I don’t expect you to fully understand this yet, since you’re young. It will come with time. In the meantime, know that I love you, and I’m sorry if you feel like things aren’t always fair.
2. Why I get frustrated sometimes.
You’ve seen me get frustrated and upset occasionally. I’m sure you sometimes wonder why. I’m sure you probably have questions. Please know that you can always ask questions. You see, autism affects my ability to communicate and to get the right words out when I want to say them. Sometimes, this results in frustration. Please know that I’m trying hard each and every single day.
3. Why I’m by myself.
I’m sure you wonder why I spend so much time in my room. My sensory system and the way I take in and process things going on in the environment around is different than how you process things. Coping requires extra effort, extra tools and extra breaks.
4. Why I love you.
Above all else, please know this: I love you. I’m so grateful that you accept me, support me and love me. Please know I’m excited for the many more adventures that lie ahead in the future.