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April 25, 2010
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“Who did you sit with at lunch today?” I asked him.

“Nobody.” He responded starring down at his worn shoes.

“Why?” I questioned, almost immediately after the words left his chapped lips.

“No one will sit with me, but I like to be by myself, I can think easily.”

“Oh.” I whisper as tears well up in my eyes.

Adam H. is very tall for his age, with course brown hair, green-brown eyes, and a bright smile painted on his face. He always says “I’m not into fashion, I’m not into fashion!” whenever I scold his clothing choices. Most days you will see him wearing a worn tee-shirt of a vacation spot my family has traveled to, and athletic sweat pants or faded jeans. His voice is warm and sweet, some quality makes it almost impossible to ignore. I can not tell you how much I love that kid.

Everyone can remember the person in their grade that was made fun of daily. Most people even enjoy joining in on the teasing ritual. Normally it is Adam who is directly or indirectly being hurt without his even knowing it, or knowing all too well that there is something wrong. He does have something wrong with him, but I would never say that is wrong or his fault. The dictionary might say that it is ‘a pervasive developmental disorder of children characterized by impaired communication, excessive rigidity and emotional detachment’, but when you live with someone who suffers and shines with autism it is a very different concept. Adam has autism, but most days I don’t even think about that. I only think of how lucky and how much I have changed by having Adam as a brother.

I watch my peers every day, and I have changed. As if I see things through a different lens than those around me. To say that Adam has changed my life is an understatement. Adam has done so much more for me, my parents, and anyone who comes in acquaintance with him. He has taught us unconditional love and a never ending patient for others through his hardships.

I have experienced at lot in my life through Adam, some days I wonder how I am able to continue. A little light warms my soul to travel on through the dark. Adam is that light for me. He is special in many more ways than one. He gives me ideas to grow off of and to build onto. Adam is my brother, my hero in life, and I love him very much.

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asofnow This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 8, 2012 at 1:58 am
I like this piece but it was too short. It felt lacking in some way.
RecreateAnimation replied...
Apr. 21, 2012 at 1:03 am
A bit short?
Toran said...
Feb. 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm
I know what the kid feels like...Great job :)
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 15, 2012 at 6:47 am
This was really amazing. :) Makes me want to hug my brother. Keep up the good work and keep your head high :)
pinkowl said...
May 24, 2011 at 10:58 pm
wow. this was so touching. this gave me the chills. keep your head up! i love this article! i am inspired by how much you love your brother and the courage you had to write this!
Spazzmine said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 4:08 am
This was a beautiful piece of work.Very inspiring :)
Charming said...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm
I belive that a kid with Autism should be treated like theres nothung wrong with them.
jokerdf said...
Oct. 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm
whos michalle
Jen K. said...
Jul. 13, 2010 at 7:08 pm
Anyone can write what they think others want to read.  I have watched Michelle's natural attentiveness to her brother and I am humbled by it each time.  She simply writes what "is" in her world but makes it real for all of us.  Thank you Michelle.
TwoFace17 said...
Jun. 27, 2010 at 9:40 pm
Great article. I know how it feels to be made fun of because of having autism.
shes_a_tee_ex_babeh_899 said...
May 31, 2010 at 4:29 pm
awww that made my heart smile:)))))))))))))
Nancy 123 said...
May 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm
Wow!  This really touches my heart.  I too have a handicap sister and know the hardships and great job that come with living and growing up with such a special person.  Thank you!
maccole1 said...
May 21, 2010 at 6:32 am
Spelling and grammar above, wrong.  This is the true family life of these wonderful folks!
maccole1 said...
May 21, 2010 at 6:26 am
Such a tue, loving sister and family!  One of a kind family surrounded by loving family! WOW!
Kathryn said...
May 14, 2010 at 4:41 am
Great job Michelle!
Grandma said...
May 10, 2010 at 8:29 pm
Michelle, you are a role model for teens.  Your essay shows love for Adam and people with special needs.
Alexis Family said...
May 10, 2010 at 2:09 pm
What a beautiful piece of writing Michelle.  We can tell that you know and understand things well beyond your years.  You feel blessed to have Adam as a brother, and he is just as blessed to have you for a sister.  Keep on writing, you obviously have a talent for it!
Paige:) said...
May 9, 2010 at 9:21 am
Michelle this is really good:)  i wanted to cry when i read this.. but out of happiness. i feel so lucky to have you in my life and so is adam.. its truely great to know how much u care about him:) i can tell you love him whenever im around you guys:) adam is such a great kid:) love you!
Osterhoff Family said...
May 9, 2010 at 8:26 am
Michelle you are a wonderful person and sister.  We all loved your essay!  Our family is lucky to have you and your family as are neighbors.  We will be voting everyday and hope you win!
Marjorie said...
May 8, 2010 at 8:44 pm
Michelle you have written with this essay with such insight and love. You are a light in this world by sharing the reality of developmental disorders, your experiences as a loving sister and serving as an inspiration to others to take notice of those around us as individuals whom may seem different from us, but who are in truth very loving gifts from God.    
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