Hello beautiful people and Happy New Year! I truly hope you had a wonderful Christmas and saw the New Year in with a BANG... my BANG was a bottle of bubbly, seafood and in bed by 10pm. Now that's bringing in a new year!
So, I wanted to dedicate my first blog of 2017 to a special bunch of people.... Autism Siblings. Infact , make that all special needs siblings. And it is probably the best time of the year to tell them how wonderful they truly are, right after the manic and chaos of Christmas.
I have made no secret that my James has really struggled this Christmas break. He has been really uncomfortable in his skin, suffered extreme sensory overload and his need for control has gone through the roof. Its been a very difficult time for James and for our whole family.
Amongst the madness of Christmas however, amongst us doing everything in our power to ensure that James remains happy and comfortable during this time, there has been a special little person. A special little person who goes by the name of Scarlett. Scarlett is James younger sister.
As I sat writing my goals for 2017, reflecting back on 2016 I just kept thinking of my daughter. 2016 was a manic year for our family, ASD diagnosis ( all the feelings that are attached to that), first year of solid early intervention, the madness of therapy appointments, specialist appointments and well all the meltdowns... did I mention everyday life in there as well?! Anyhow, where was Scarlett I thought?
She was here! Scarlett was here....supporting, loving and guiding her brother in her own way.
The last week has had me watching Scarlett. When James goes into meltdown she will quietly remove herself from the area, play with her toys or retreat with her ipad. He will want the toy she is playing with, she graciously gives it up. She often will walk over to him, give him a cuddle and say 'I miss you James, I love you James'.
The bond that my two children share is unbreakable. I wonder whether she knows he is different? Does she just know no different? Whatever the case she has been a blessing for our family. She shows James a way that I don't think he would know without her guidance and more importantly her unconditional love.
Special needs siblings are certainly a special bunch of souls. 2017 will see me ensuring that Scarlett gets the endless love, support and attention she shows to her brother. She makes me so proud. There is a solid autism advocate already, right there, she may be small but she will show the world, she will show the world the beauty of different minds.... from the way she treats them. Equal. Different and not less than.