Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

It Breaks My Heart

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

It Breaks My Heart

Article excerpt

My brother isn't going to college. He isn't even going to leave home when he turns 21. So, the thought of a "different" summer for my brother may not seem too upsetting.

I was thinking about all of my past summers and I realized how different mine are from my brother's. Clearly they would be different, because he has autism and I do not. But, I start to think about all of the things he may be missing out on. When you're in high school, you look forward to the summers. Having no school, getting to sleep in, spending time by the pool, hanging out with friends, going on vacation, etc.

I wonder if my brother even knows that he isn't experiencing these things. Not only does he go to a yearlong school, but also he doesn't have friends to hang out with. Not to mention, he is 18 so he should be working a summer job to save money for college next year and going dorm room shopping.

My brother isn't going to college. He isn't even going to leave home when he turns 21. So, the thought of a "different" summer for my brother may not seem too upsetting. When you break it up into all of the other things that surround and are a part of summer, it is easy to see how much my brother cannot experience as a typical 18 year old.

It is no big deal that he goes to school all summer and can't sleep in. But even when he gets out of school, he isn't going to go to the park to play volleyball with his friends. Yes, it is because he cannot drive or doesn't know how to play volleyball. But the main point is that it isn't happening because he doesn't have any friends. I love my brother for who he is, but I don't love all of the wonderful things he has to miss out on because of his disability.

He's missing out on other things too. My other brother just went to prom. My two brothers are so close in age they should've been going to prom together. When my mom was sending me pictures of my brother dressed up for the prom, I thought to myself, this should be of Jack AND Sammy! …

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