Dear Autistic Brother, scratch that, Dear Brother; Growing up with you was not easy Mom was proud of you for an “F”, but for me; “F”, unfortunately, was NOT for fantastic “D” was not for diploma And “A+” –for attention was never easy for me to come by But what I had forgotten; Neither was living in a world where things don’t always add up Neither was struggling to make sense of a problem, A problem that came naturally to just about everyone else Dear Brother, Now that I am older I realize I do not have to explain myself, I do not feel the need to tell my peers that my Brother has a disorder Canned corn...sitting on a shelf at your local Walmart Sitting under the aisle, “canned goods” Dear Brother, Do not allow yourself to be labeled “autistic” or “disabled kid” Like cream style or whole kernel Because, if I know anything, it is that you are worth so much more So much more than the 68 cents stuck to the floor mat of the car scraped up to purchase a can of corn at your local Walmart Dear Brother, 30 pills is a lot Dear Brother, I remember you on your knees pleading not to take them Fighting with Mom trying to convince her you did not need them At the age of 10, I did not understand why Looking back I now understand and admire your courage To stand up for what you believe in Because anything else would be giving up your medicine to feel normalcy Just to feel like an average 14 year old is worth fighting for Dear Brother, I am sorry, I’m sorry for all the times I made fun of you, or encouraged an argument I’m sorry for being impossible I am sorry for every single time I have taken you for granted I am sorry that I have not always been able to understand your ways Sorry for mentioning things that I knew would make you feel bad Only because I was upset Sorry for the lame excuse that only I can make fun of you because I’m your sister When that excuse only makes me look worse Because siblings are supposed to build each other up And most of all, I’m sorry that all I have to offer you for my appreciation is this poem and my love Dear Brother, I have never been ashamed. Never have I felt embarrassed because you were different. I used to be proud to tell kids in my class you were unique You’ve taught me how to appreciate the things you have and more importantly, acceptance Dear Brother, Thank you for your continuous support For accepting me for who I am Even when I am not always able to accept myself Thank you for surviving years of undeserving torment and returning even stronger Thank you for teaching me about cars, guns and hunting. Thank you for teaching me the definition of love Love is volunteering your gun because nothing else would make you more happy Happy seeing your sister shoot her first deer with your most prized possession Love is telling your cousin he can take the shot Because his smile would mean more to you than getting the game yourself Love is missing the bus to make sure your sister gets home safe Love is feeling comfortable when pushing my buttons all the damn time Because no matter what, I will always love you unconditionally Dear Brother, No labels, no diagnosis, no prescription, no amount of pills None of these forced down your throat define who you are My Brother has autism, what’s your superpower?
The Autism Puzzle Foundation, 333 Beckley Hill Rd, Barre, VT 05641