To the Man Who Said My Brother's Autism Would Wreck My Family

Autism is not an alien. It’s not a disease. It’s not life ending. Autism has its ups and downs. Autism affects everyone differently. But it does not wreck families. It does not wreck my family.

Dian was diagnosed at a time when people hadn’t really heard of autism. Well, I hadn’t heard of it anyway when I was 11 and found out my little brother had autism. I didn’t know what this word meant for him. What was going to happen? Little did I realize it was a blessing in disguise.

The last seven years since his diagnosis have been a rollercoaster. We’ve had to fight to get him the services he needs. We’ve protected him from people who’ve put him down because of a label he’s been given. We’ve celebrated milestones that seemed impossible.

This hasn’t wrecked us; it’s made us.

I’ve grown up quicker than I thought I would. I’ve matured and stepped up in ways I didn’t think I would for a very long time. Dian’s diagnosis has helped shape me to be a better person. It’s taught me to not judge, to love and that family comes first. For someone to turn around and tell me autism wrecks families clearly shows how uneducated they are and how they’ve never had the pleasure to get to know someone with autism.

My family is a little army. You put one of us down or treat us negatively, you will have the whole family to answer to. Don’t disrespect us. If you’re not a part of an autism family, then don’t be making statements you know nothing about. I wouldn’t change my family for the world.

To the man who told me autism wrecks family, I hope some day you realize just how much you’re missing out on.

Read more at All About Autism.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

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

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Girl walking along rural road.

When People Ask How My Autism Went Undiagnosed for So Long

I’ve noticed a number of threads on Asperger’s/Autism/ASD forums where a younger person with an ASD quizzes those with a late diagnosis as if they don’t totally believe them. They want to know how it was ever possible to be autistic as a child and not be diagnosed. It’s a perfectly reasonable question, and one [...]
Sad girl sitting on the grass.

Remembering My Childhood Social Awkwardness as a Mom With Autism

I haven’t had much time for self-reflection until just recently. While talking with my daughter about social interactions at school that were puzzling her, I began to take a step back into my inner self, and boy did the memories come flooding back. At times when I am talking with my children or while I am [...]
African-American girl walking alone in autumn.

Did My Autism Fly Under the Radar Because of My Race?

I dread emergency room visits. I loathe clinic visits. There are many situations in which I go “non-verbal”  or even “semi-verbal.” Usually these situations are high stress, and very demanding of me and my remaining “spoons” for the day. When I first decided I wanted to seek diagnosis for autism, everyone refused to give me [...]
Dian riding in a boat, wearing his noise-cancelling headphones.

My Brother With Autism Is a Person, Too

My name is Freya, and my brother Dian has autism. I see people treat Dian like he isn’t a person. They treat him awfully and talk about him as if he doesn’t hear. People are foolish to believe this, because he is very aware of everything around him. He may not react or respond immediately, [...]