My name is Lindsay Brink, and I have 3 beautiful boys, my middle son is on the spectrum. I think sometimes he lucked out because his older brother and younger brother are always going to “take care” of him I think, we have a strong family bond and that makes me very proud.
However, I have always felt like even though my middle son has Autism, My oldest son, Austen, “suffers” just as much due to my ASD kiddo’s (Parker) “special” abilities.
Like his special ability to hear a tv show he doesn’t like even if he locks himself in a closet! Recently, that happened. Austen wanted to watch his favorite tv show- there was a new episode on. Well, he turned it on and Parker FREAKED. It’s funny because even though Parker has a hard time communicating things like feelings, I know for a fact they are there and he understands me.
Austen was so upset I thought that I could entertain Parker in his room and Austen could watch his tv show in my room- however Parker was STILL able to hear it no matter what we did, I eventually found him in the closet,crouched down, covering his ears and rocking. “Mommy turn it off! Turn it off!” I shut the closet door and finally he had found a place he couldn’t hear it. Seeing how upset he was and feeling caught in the middle I knew there was only one solution- let the boys work it out and try to mediate.
I began by explaining to Parker “Austen loves Power Rangers. He Really wants to watch it, if I turn it off he will be sad.”
Parker said, “Ok.”
I continued: “Parker, I am sorry I don’t understand why this upsets you, but you have a choice, sit in the closet until it’s all done, or I will make your brother shut it off.”
Being that this was a bit more to process he was quiet for a good 2-3 minutes when he looked up at me in the saddest voice ever and said, “I stay in the closet.”
At this point Austen came bounding into the room and burst open the door- now we could hear again OH NO!! Parker immediately started saying, “NO MOMMY NO MOMMY NO!!” I stepped out of the closet shut the door, went through the other door and shut that as well to speak to Austen.
“Why were you in the closet?” He asked with a questioning look on his face.
I explained that Parker had some problem with Power rangers, I told him of my conversation with Parker and Austen responded with tears in his eyes, “You know I don’t like Autism sometimes, but I sure have an amazing brother, Mom, I don’t want him to have to stay in the closet, I can practice my patience I want to go shut it off.”
The whole ordeal ended in a hug between the two boys and one proud Mama standing over them.
Austen is such an amazing child, always supporting his brother. Which is why we started Austen’s Autism Advocates. A little organization to help kids and people on the spectrum. Most of all- we want to recognize the siblings. I am really excited that in a few months we are going to start doing “Exceptional Sibling” Giveaways, little plaques and certificates for those “typical” siblings who work so hard every day to support their brothers and sisters!
Thanks for Reading!!