Autism Dad: Brothers

You remember Ryan, Ben’s little brother, the little curly-haired surfer dude who doesn’t get much mention on Autism Dad. Since Ryan turned 5 on New Year’s Eve, I thought he just might be deserving of a little ink.

Ryan’s come a long way. When he was 2, a speech delay caused worry that he too was autistic. For a while, he received speech therapy through the school. When you see him now, he is full of life, verbal and quick, playful and sweet. He is good at assembling things and problem solving. He is an attention junky who, when he doesn’t get his fix, can be ornery.

I am grateful that Ryan will have a normal life, or what society considers a normal life. But feeling gratitude for having a “normal functioning” child makes me feel that I am somehow diminishing Ben, which I would never do. I hated when my parents compared me to my brother — and here I am doing the same thing! So I will henceforth stop; let’s just agree that Ben and Ryan, like your child and all children, are perfect and precious in their own ways. Let’s also agree that parents who have multiple kids on the spectrum are worthy of our greatest respect. They do not feel cursed — burdened at times, of course, but equally blessed.

Ryan’s still very much in his Me phase where the world revolves around him. He loves to play with his action figures and watch Scooby Doo, whereas Ben has never engaged in toy-play. I like to observe Ryan when he’s in his zone, immersed in play, unaware of my proximity: the way he creates his little worlds, or fantasies, and involves his toys in his good-guy-versus-bad-guy dramas.

But it’s also a period of transition for Ryan, as he asserts his independence. Like some pint-sized revolutionary, he recently pulled off a well orchestrated protest, boycotting Daddy for two weeks until he got his “big boy” car seat. He can operate the Roku and always looks for occasion to show me that he doesn’t need my help. When he turned 5, he said, “Now you can’t call me baby.” Yeah, like that’s going to stop me.

The other day Ryan said he wanted more cuddling time with me. Did this kid receive assertiveness training or what? I was very happy to see he has no problem advising me of his needs. In all seriousness, it’s good for me to keep this in mind. Ben is so cuddly while Ryan is always on the move and seems to have less need to be held. But the affection distribution meter is out of whack. He’s right that it’s become lopsided. The little revolutionary has spotted an injustice, and now that I am aware of it I will address it.

Ryan loses patience with Ben easily. If Ben harmlessly stumbles into Ryan’s space and God forbid brushes up against him ever so slightly, Ryan practically has a crying fit. He points to Ben like a prosecutor: “He did it!” On the trampoline there are now turf battles.

If sometimes Ryan becomes annoyed at Ben, I don’t rush to protect Ben, because I don’t want to create an artificial bubble around him. That’s not fair to Ben or Ryan. It’s why I don’t hesitate to punish Ben with timeouts or mock-spankings and even look for opportunities. It’s important for Ben to know that he won’t receive special treatment. Of course it’s equally important for Ryan to see this.

 

How much does Ryan know? Occasionally he asks, “How come Ben doesn’t answer me?” or “Ben doesn’t really say much of anything, does he, Dad?”  I’ve never spoken to Ryan in any detail about Ben’s autism. He understands that Ben is different from other kids. Sometimes I wonder how this is shaping Ryan. It certainly means he will have to adapt to more alone time and become more independent. Will he become a strong, caring brother who looks out for Ben? It’s already happening. All I know is that I don’t want to be on Ryan’s bad side. What if he boycotts me again? 

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Editor’s Note: Read about a mother with three children on the spectrum

Editor’s Note: Autism Dad also available at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Autism-Dad/160327080653310

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This entry was posted in January 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

100 Responses to Autism Dad: Brothers

  1. 99% Of the internet feeds are worthless. I’m thankful for your post, and that something worthwhile is on “freshly Pressed”.
    Thanks for your openness and willingness to share. Best wished to you and your family.
    Colinda

    • Autism Dad says:

      Hi Colinda: What a super-nice comment. Thank you so much for your encouraging words! I hope you subscribed, so you can receive future essays. Many thanks again!

  2. Wow — a truly touching post, and unbelievably beautiful boys! Congratulations on it all… 🙂

  3. runtobefit says:

    Thanks for sharing! I think Ryan will becomes Ben’s protector. He has been put into a unique position but I truly believe he will flourish in it. He will become Little Big Brother. I think it will make Ryan strong and will help him be successful in life. He will grow into his own, but will always be there for Ben. That’s the great thing about him being the younger brother…He will be able to spend more of his young life with his older brother. Ryan…Little Big Brother

    http://www.runtobefit.wordpress.com

    • Autism Dad says:

      Thanks for your comment. I like this: Little Big Brother. I’ve read a bit about birth order — how first borns are supposed to be more independent and second borns are supposed to be a bit more emotionally dependent…so although Ryan is a second born, he may start to resemble a first born, because a lot will be expected of him. Thanks again for writing……..

  4. I think that it sounds like you are doing what is best for both boys. Parenting does not come with an instruction manual and you will learn as you go what is a right and wrong way to handle the situations your boys will both encounter. Keep up the good work : )

  5. fey's diary says:

    They’re so cute 🙂

  6. Tori says:

    A) Your boys are precious.
    B) As a mom of just one wild boy, I give you kudos for taking the time to acknowledge TWO boys as individual personalities and as they function together as brothers. The sibling relationship can be a tumultuous one at times, but oh so very special, too!
    Great post & Congrats on being Freshly Pressed,
    Tori@TheRamblings

  7. Evie Garone says:

    Good luck to you being the best Dad you can be! Your children are lovely!

    evelyngarone.com

  8. 4myskin says:

    Hoping that they’ll continue to develop a very special bond as brothers. Looks like they’re already there! 🙂

  9. azizmoummou says:

    Well it’s hard man to keep them safe.Autism is a major issue here in Morocco as well…as for me 2011 is marked by my new web site,I’m trying to help that way:
    http://www.hellochichaoua.com/.
    I’m not yet sure it’s famous enough as your blog.

    Cheers,
    Aziz

    • Autism Dad says:

      Hey Aziz: Thanks for writing. I’ve read in the news about Morocco’s autism epidemic; it just goes to show how global this issue is — no one is immune. Will check out your site……..

  10. annaconnelly says:

    My younger brother is autistic. I’m 20 years old now but I definitely had a lot of anger and jealousy toward him as a child due to the fact that my parents were constantly with him, constantly trying to help him and make him happy. I believe there are two paths siblings of autistic children can take… try to be the good kid, make everything “easier” for your parents (the path I chose) or act out to get attention. You seem like a wonderful parent – which is GREAT because there are so many parents who choose to ignore their children’s “disabilities.” I know you’re not asking for advice, but I’d like to give you a piece of mine – give Ryan a day of attention every week. Have a Ryan & Dad day. If he wants to invite Ben, let him… but it should be his choice. I feel like this comment is ridiculously long, but I’d love to tell you more about what it’s like to be a “Ryan” … let me know! Thanks Autism Dad 🙂 I’m so glad you choose to share your (and Ben’s!) stories.

    • Autism Dad says:

      I am glad you found me, Anna (Thanks to WordPress for featuring Autism Dad on Fresh Press). So…you can really relate to Ryan when he tells me he wants more from me! Your advice is right on target and something I will try to do. I would love to learn more about your experiences, so please do share! Make sure you subscribe to Autism Dad so we can stay in touch. Many thanks again….

  11. bluerosegirl08 says:

    Speaking as an adult with a disability who has an able-bodied younger sibling I know that as they grow up Ryan will probably mature faster because of his brother’s disability. I would caution to be careful that enough quality time is spent with him but I think Ryan has that covered! Do not berate yourself for being glad that Ryan will not have to face the challenges that Ben will. They are two children with separate identities and being proud of both of their accomplishments is not a fault.

    • Autism Dad says:

      What a nice comment — thanks for taking the time to write it. And I especially appreciate your telling me I shouldn’t feel guilty about being happy for Ryan’s development! Thanks for reading and please subscribe so you can receive future essays!

  12. An incredibly powerful post–a testament to your success as a Father. Thank you for sharing your boys with the world in this way–an entirely different form of courage than most people know.

    I blog from Haiti–( and actually have a chronic illness of my own)—so I feel especially alligned with the outsider, and, as such, my own blog is titled “Reinventing the Event Horozon: notes from the edge”– Thanks for sharing your own family’s journey to the edge and back–the daily trudge–the effort of trying and failing and trying again. Thank you!

    Kathy

    • Autism Dad says:

      Thanks Kathy — great to hear from you from Haiti: how cool is that! It feels good to know that my words are connecting with you. I look forward to checking out your blog. Many thanks again…

  13. I read your entry with interest. Having studied autism as part of a Specific Needs Course for a Master’s degree, I am aware of the effect having a sibling on the spectrum. It’s great to read your account of both your sons. Both very different and the difference is being celebrated. I take my hat off to you.

    • Autism Dad says:

      Hi John in the UK: Thanks for writing. You must have great insight into the family dynamics…how having an autistic child can bring a family closer and sadly, have the opposite effect — disrupting families and contributing to a high divorce rate. And yes, the effect on siblings. Maybe I should do a follow-up piece on this topic. It seems to have struck a chord. Anyway, thanks for reading and please subscribe so we can stay in touch. Regards….

  14. rtcrita says:

    What a very “in tune” dad you are. You are right, every kid is “perfect and precious in their own way.” It can be hard to give each child their own individual, special time that makes them feel like they really matter and mean something to you as their parent. But, it’s necessary. I made sure I spent individual time with each of my own two children. I still do, even now as they are older teenagers. Whenever one of them has a function to go to and won’t be around at meal time, I use that opportunity to take the other one out to lunch or dinner where we can be alone in an atmosphere outside the home and they will feel free to discuss anything that is going on in their lives with me. It’s nice for both of us.

    I hope you continue to spend time with each son as they grow up and build a closeness that will always be there because of the precious time you took with each one. What beautiful boys you have!

    • Autism Dad says:

      Thank you for posting this great comment — I really appreciate your encouraging words. Below a sibling of a kid with autism emphasized how important it is for me to make time for just Ryan and me. And now with your comment, I’m starting to connect the dots here. What I need to do is clear. I should say, what I WANT to do. Many thanks again……….

  15. As a mum of two boys – the older with autism and the younger without – I find this post very heart-touching and important. I’ve often wondered how my boys are going to relate to each other as they grow (the older is 5, the younger only 1), so it’s interesting to read about another parent’s experiences. I’m glad I found your blog.

    Also, your kids are just beautiful 🙂

  16. Hello, and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    Your blog’s appearance on today’s Freshly Pressed was truly one of the greatest examples of Happenstance I’ve ever experienced.

    I am currently in the process of certifying my golden retriever Clohe as a therapy dog. One of the programs I’m especially interested in getting her involved in is an autism outreach program. From the little research I’ve done so far, it appears that some of the symptoms of autism (the little “tics,” like Ben’s straw-tapping or door-slamming) can be minimized (or at least temporarily averted) by redirecting the child to patting or stroking a dog’s coat. Obviously, there are varying degrees of autism and no two cases are alike, but I was curious to see if you had done any reading on the subject. There are some very moving videos available on YouTube that I was able to find, though many families adopt a service dog rather than having short-term therapy dog visits.

    Just last night I had a meeting with my group to discuss what information we’ll need to be prepared with while meeting with local school boards. I did find your interview with Kim Stagnalio and have bookmarked some of her work to cite in our proposals, but I was wondering if you could direct me to any other sources to provide a better understanding of autism. Your blog is a fantastic look into your journey with your boys and how you deal with it all. Kudos to you, and please keep the story coming!

    Best wishes,
    Danielle

  17. thanks for sharing such personal info. and that picture at the end is beautiful.
    http://dearexgirlfriend.com/

  18. makingup3000 says:

    I always say “we can learn just as much from them as they learn from us.” What I really loved was that last picture of Ben……just gorgeous.

    http://lifebehindthemakeupcounter.wordpress.com/

  19. Hi, what a lovely post! I am guilty of comparing my children too, I have been since I conceived my son as they are so different! I’m so glad I popped over, what a lovely blog.
    XxX

  20. Hi Autism Dad,
    I’m an Autism Mom, and I relate to so much of this. My older boy (7) has autism, and I think his younger highly verbal bundle-of dynamite brother (5) sometimes has a hard time because of how we have to divide (or not divide) our attention. But we do our best, and James (little brother) is learning how to articulate his needs and frustrations in a way more positive than hitting his brother over the head with Lego.
    If you’d like to read about my journey, please feel free to check out http://runningforautism.wordpress.com, and I will be subscribing to your wonderful blog.
    Kirsten

    • Autism Dad says:

      Hi Kirsten: Thanks for posting a comment and for subscribing to Autism Dad. I will definitely check out your blog. Your kids are the exact same age as mine; well, Ben, the one with autism, will be 7 in Feb. and Ryan just turned 5. Thanks again……..

  21. Really enjoyed your post. I am a Little Big Sister, and found myself nodding my head to many of the comments posted here. My brother and I grew up in the 60s and 70s, and he was not even properly diagnosed until the early 80s, when I was in college.

    Yes, I matured more quickly than other kids my age. Yes, I learned valuable things about compassion and difference from being my brother’s sister. I am grateful for the ways in which being his sister has shaped me. But: It was also really hard. Yes, I felt pressure to be for my parents all the things my only other sibling could not. Yes, I resented the ways in which he dictated/restricted so many parts of our lives.

    My parents did the best they could with few resources, and I know they love me every bit as much as my brother. But because I was so “perfect” and he was so challenging, it was easy for them to overlook my needs. I was an easy child for them, but my adulthood has been rocky. Let’s just say it’s been a journey.

    I think that a family with a disabled child does not have just one special-needs child. I think siblings of disabled kids also have special needs; they are just different ones. It is really nice to see you focusing on what Ryan’s needs are. I think if you can help him continue to articulate them (and feel OK in doing so), you’ll all be just fine.

    Best wishes–
    Rita

    • Autism Dad says:

      Wow, all I can say is that I hope ALL of my readers get a chance to read your comment. “Comment” doesn’t do it justice — it’s really an essay and very well said. I don’t think this topic gets enough coverage. Thank you for contributing your firsthand experience! Make sure you subscribe to Autism Dad so we can stay in touch! Regards……

  22. I was glad to see your post on Freshly Pressed. Autism has always fascinated me and I’ve tutored autistic kids for over 10 years.
    Being the typically developing sibling can be tough, and they do get short-changed on attention at times, but as one of the earlier comments pointed out, they can also be great role models, guides and protectors for their autistic siblings.

    • Autism Dad says:

      Thanks for the awesome work you are doing with autistic kids! And thanks also for dropping by. If you’d like to receive future essays, please subscribe. Many thanks again….

  23. I also have a typical child and a child with autism. I think it has really helped my daughter learn about acceptance and compassion to have a brother with autism. It is often times difficult making sure she gets the attention she deserves, but thankfully she loves him so much and is such a great sister to him. I enjoyed reading this – thanks 🙂 All the best to you and your family.

    • Autism Dad says:

      Thanks for writing and reading! What you have achieved is what I want with my boys. The great thing is how this blogging process is a two-way street. I’m writing and expressing but receiving and absorbing so much….thank you!

  24. We have 4 children and our middle son, Caleb (9 yrs old) has Autism and is non-verbal. My husband and I have also struggled to keep balance in the family and not forget in between case conferences, therapies and meltdowns that we do have 3 other children that need our love and attention. One night when I was putting our youngest son, Ethan, to bed I kissed him and said, “I love you” to which he replied, “Yeah, but you love Caleb more” Oh, man ~ talk about “mommy guilt”.

    On the positive side, our daughter, Emma, who is the youngest, had a friend in Kindergarten that she talked about constantly. All we heard was Ally did this and Ally said that. It wasn’t until the end of the school year that we learned by attending a school function and meeting Ally that Ally had Down’s Syndrome. I think that growing up with a special needs sibling will give our children an appreciation and compassion to accept those that society doesn’t consider to be “normal”.

    I loved reading your post and think your boys will grow up to become close friends in the years to come. 🙂

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed !
    Lori

  25. Five is a magic number for kids. My friend’s daughter, who turns 5 next month, recently said to me, “Jen, when I’m five, you can’t pick me up anymore, okay?” Naturally I agreed, but I told her that since she’s getting so big (literally, she is a big kid), she has to start picking me up instead. 🙂
    I enjoy reading men’s blogs about their children and fatherhood in general. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to hearing moms talk about their kids, that it’s nice to hear the man’s perspective for a change. I am a big believer in the importance of a father in raising well-adjusted kids. It sounds like Ben and Ryan have a solid foundation with you. Take care. -Jen

    http://sasfiction.wordpress.com

    • Autism Dad says:

      Hey Jen — Thanks for dropping by and for posting the comment. I like to say that I’m a work in progress, but I feel I am stepping up to the plate and becoming a better dad every day. I’m crazy about my boys, as you can tell. I checked out your blog. Love the writing style, the attitude 🙂

  26. minka says:

    you have two very adorable boys! i have done a lot of work with our local autism society and it has become a huge passion of mine. i work with a program where it is a one on one camp setting the kids get to do amazing things like horse back riding boating tubing archery… its great for the kids…and has taught me a lot of general life leassons. patience is a huge one.. along with finding the beauty in the small things. one of my campers, benny was fairly high functioning but still had his fears of participating in the group activities instead he would sit and draw. it was what he loved and i still have some of the most amazing pictures he drew years ago. you sound like a great dad and are well aware of the beautiful things your son is able to do.. your other son will be aware of this soon. i look forward to reading more of your blog!
    -Minka

    • Autism Dad says:

      Thanks for all the work you’re doing to benefit the autism community. I totally agree that it’s the small things in life, those fleeting moments…gotta enjoy each one of them. Thanks again for reading…and do stay in touch!

  27. Christy says:

    I stopped my browser to click on the Freshly Pressed link, and I’m glad I did! Mine’s the reverse situation: my 5-year-old daughter is the big sister of my 2-year-old son with autism. I know it’s hard on her sometimes, and we’ve had those moments, too: “Mama, will you sit with me?”

    I have to constantly remind myself that we can only do what we can do–no one asked us to be perfect. All our kids want is our attention, our instruction, our discipline, and above all else our love. It sounds to me like you’ve got it covered! Thanks for your post!

    • Autism Dad says:

      Hey Christy: It’s nice to have a connection with you and other parents in similar circumstances. I would never say I have it covered (for details, check out the essay, “Is Autism Dad an Autism Warrior?”), but I’m moving in the right direction! Thanks for your super-kind feedback and stay in touch. Regards….

  28. jule1 says:

    What an angelic-looking child! Those big blue eyes and curly blone hair. Surely he could model for a classical painting of cherubs.

    It must be difficult/interesting for him to relate to his older brother, Ben, who he is noticing is different from other kids. Sounds like you are doing a good job staying current with who Ryan is, even as he changes rapidly. That’s a tough part of parenting, and one I admire when people do it well.

    • Autism Dad says:

      Thanks for all of your flattering comments!! Yes, I like the idea of Ryan being a child model — let “the little brat” earn his keep and pay the bills. 🙂 Many thanks again…….

  29. katy seawolf says:

    wonderful post! i have a single relative who is also raising two children, one of them autistic. interacting with and babysitting the children really opened my eyes to both of their worlds. my relative is doing a superb job at raising the children, and from what i read and see, you’re doing good too. 🙂

    by the way, that picture of ben and ryan holding hands is absolutely precious. 🙂

    God bless,
    katy

    • Autism Dad says:

      Thank you for the awesome comment. And I’d have to agree with you about the photo. There’s something very sweet in it, the way they are holding hands, and sad too, the way Ben has no awareness what a birthday party is — and no awareness that it’s HIS BIG DAY. But the photo is a sort of microcosm of the larger story — its captures the brotherhood theme pretty good. Thanks for noticing it! Regards…….

  30. Thank you for this Post… you have beautiful boys and it seems they are lucky to have such a proud and loving father!!

    ~heather

  31. Baby Pickel says:

    Wow. I am so happy to have read this post! You are truly an inspiration. Your boys are so gorgeous – you must be so proud of them, too!! Keep being awesome and being a true blessing to others!

    Much love, Camille

    • Autism Dad says:

      Camille, you keep this up, you’re going to give me a big head. Thank you for your incredibly nice comments. They are very motivating! I don’t know if I’m worthy of all that today, but maybe tomorrow or next week or next year. I guess it’s the journey that counts and knowing you’re on the right path. Thanks again, Camille, for your kind comments.

  32. danablair says:

    this is beautiful. When people have kids on the spectrum or not can learn from your incite. Thank you for sharing.

  33. auntbethany says:

    You are incredibly lucky to have a child who will even demand for more cuddle time. Heck, I demand that, and I’m 25! (It just happens to look a bit weirder now since Mom is 64 and sitting on her lap in public places would look a tad odd). A tremendous post. Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us.

    Kudos on FP!

    http://miracleon32ndstreet.wordpress.com

    • Autism Dad says:

      On the lap — love it! Don’t let that stop you! My dad’s 81 and I’ve continued to hug him over the years, and each and every time he turns red from embarrassment. And I still don’t let it stop me. Because it’s not about him. 🙂 Anyway, thanks again for the really nice feedback…and stay in touch.

  34. Hello. Recently I switched my platform from Blogger to WordPress, and I’m really fortunate to have found your blog..

    I know the struggle and joy that co-exist in your life, but I would like you to know that you’re such a great dad… You have two beautiful sons.. I will be back:) Take care…

    p.s. I hope it was okay to link you on my blog.

    • Autism Dad says:

      Hey Barefoot Chick (that was fun to write): Thank you for your kind words…I will certainly do everything I can to live up to them. And thanks for being in touch….

  35. a lovely and heartfelt post, glad you can share your stories as some people shy from attention when their family has special needs….thanks! Keep it up, dad!

  36. Congrats on Freshly Pressed! Reading your blog truly is an inspiration. In a way, it reminded me of how to live kindly and happily even when difficulties arise. Kudos on being such a caring father for your boys as well. I’ll definitely be back to read more. Best!

  37. junkasie says:

    Wow. I also have an autistic brother named Ben. Quite a coincidence. This blog is a wonderful idea. Thank you for posting!

  38. thorsaurus says:

    No advice, just a thank you for adding awareness. Well done.

  39. Pennyfq says:

    The two kids are really so cute. I feel the deep love when reading. Parents are always devote much to their children. Love for all moms and dads.

  40. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!
    I have never had to experience Autism, but i do think i hav eone piece of advice that woudl be awesome for any parent to use……. especially if they have more then one child. That is to spend a day or a few hours- routinely, with each child. Just you and each of them. Separately. It is important that they each have their own bonding time.

    • Autism Dad says:

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment! It’s really good advice. As a single dad, I will have to make arrangements for someone to look after Ben if I’m going to have any alone-time with Ryan. I can leave Ben with my dad for an hour maybe, but not much longer than that.

  41. mrtaurus says:

    Beautiful post. I work as an assistant psychologist and run post-diagnostic workshops for parents with children just diagnosed with an Autism Specrum Disorder in London. It’s really inspiring to read that you have a great grasp to the sibling relationships so important in both developmental give-and-takes, as a parent it’s great that you recognise their subtalities.

    Pride!

    • Autism Dad says:

      Thank you for your comment and for taking the time to read. I don’t know if I have a grasp, but I am developing it, in part because of the great input and feedback from readers like you!

  42. Brett Curtis says:

    Our first son, also named Ben, is diagnosed with autism and now after scrambling to find the right course of action, we are starting to implement a Lavaas style of behavioural program. Our new born, Chris, isnt autistic, and so when I stumbled onto your post, it gave me hope that we are not alone and a diagnosis isnt The End for everyone in the family. Our Ben is two and similarly is profoundly non verbal but he has good gross motor function and other senses are perfect. He has taken his time about it, but he has found love for us and is a great cuddler.
    Im here on wordpress because I was looking to start a blog about my Ben, Autism and his treatment. Good work AD, youre not alone. Brett in Sydney, Australia.

    • Autism Dad says:

      Hi Brett — Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. It sounds so similar to mine. If you have a chance to read some of the comments others have posted, I found them immensely helpful. Awesome that he’s discovered cuddling; especially if they are non verbal, cuddling can communicate so much! Would love to read about another Ben, so definitely let me know when you’ve launched your blog! Thanks again…….

  43. My little baby brother is a “special” child as well. He is now 11 and I protect him ferociously like any elder sister would; maybe more so. Ever since I was a child myself I knew that my brother was much different than other kids his age. But yesterday my Dad explained to me why he was really, a truly “special” child.
    According to the Hindu philosophy of rebirth, a person is reborn after death depending on the number and magnitude of sins committed in the previous birth. At one point there comes a time when a person commits no sin at all and he ceases to be born again. After death he becomes one with God, his Creator. My brother probably committed very little sin in his previous birth and so had to be reborn again. However, God insured that in this birth he commits no sin whatsoever and so sent him down as a “special” child, God’s child.
    That’s where the term “special” child comes from. They are little pieces of Heaven who have graced us with their presence on Earth. Good luck to Ben and Ryan both!
    And of course, kudos to their Dad on the lovely post =)
    God Bless!

    • Autism Dad says:

      Rhadika: What a beautiful philosophy and I am so glad that you took the time to share it with us all! Thank you again…and I hope you stay in touch! Regards….

  44. Classic says:

    You’re sincere honesty and openness with the rest of us in the blogosphere is to be admired; I wish you and your family a wonderful future! 😀

  45. Autism Dad says:

    Hey Classic — Thanks for your encouraging words and support. I checked out your blog..nice job, keep it up!!!

  46. cassiejean says:

    Thanks for posting. It was nice to read something just genuinely from the heart. Your boys sound very sweet… It’s nice to read about other brothers. I can relate, my youngest brother (7) has higher-functioning autism, and another brother (9) is typical. You can bet they get in fights just like your boys! But 9-yr-old can also be very protective… When he’s not wrestling his younger brother to the ground 😉

  47. Autism Dad says:

    Hi Cassie: You must have an amazing insight into autism and its impact on families. Thanks so much for reading and definitely stay in touch!

  48. PyroLuna11 says:

    It will be difficult for Ryan to understand, but you can rest assure that while they will get on each other’s nerves and fight and bicker, Ryan will be Ben’s protector and confidante. I have 4 children and my 3rd child, Cannon, is the one with autism. His younger brother, Jeffery, is there for him in more ways than I can explain on here. He has stood up for Cannon in a restaurant where people were giving us dirty looks due to Cannon’s stimming, he comforts Cannon when Cannon melts down. Just remember that you are not alone in your struggles with this. There are loads of us out here.

    • Autism Dad says:

      Hi Luna — Thanks for reading and for writing! Cannon is very fortunate to have Jeffery — and vice-versa I’m sure! I am looking forward to seeing the bond between Ryan and Ben develop over time and become even stronger. Thanks again for the connection….

  49. kloppenmum says:

    You seem like an awesome Dad…Thanks for sharing.

  50. Great post! And what charming little kids! 🙂 Keep writing.

  51. Pingback: Autism Dad: Brothers Revisited | Autism Dad

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