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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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Aunt Mary said...
May 8, 2010 at 1:55 pm
Michelle you are mature beyond your years!  Your writting shows maturity, compassion and insight for those not familuar with Autism.  Your words can enlighten those who will not have the oppurtunity to walk in your shoes.  You have a talent - keep writing!  I can still hear you, Adam and Maddy laughing all the way home from Up North - because Adams laugh made you guys laugh - your right Adam is a blessing!
 
Grandma Joan & Don said...
May 8, 2010 at 7:47 am
Michelle we know how much you love Adam, we see it every time we are with you. Your writtings truly exLress your feelings you have for Adam and life.  Love grandma Joan & Don
 
Jordan :) said...
May 7, 2010 at 3:57 pm

hey buddy,

omg i almost cried when i read this because i felt so touched by it. to know that you love your brother that much (well i already knew you did) just makes my heart fill with warmth. You're always there for him and care so much for him unlike some people who may have disabled family members and dont treat them well. You always remind me of an angle, always there for someone and always willing to help. Love you

 

 
RyansMom said...
May 7, 2010 at 10:59 am
You are so right, Michelle!  Adam is wonderful and you are too!
 
Mike Helner said...
May 7, 2010 at 10:16 am
Michelle - It is wonderful to have you as a daughter and watch you grow.  You have always lead with a positive presence.  Love Dad 
 
Aunt Joan Mapes said...
May 7, 2010 at 10:14 am
This was a very moving and beautiful article.  After reading same, you have to know what a great family you have.
 
What a great sister! said...
May 7, 2010 at 9:43 am
Michele this is a very beautiful article.  You are a very sensitive and understanding person.  Adam is very fortunate to have you for a sister.  This is love in action.
 
Carole M. said...
May 7, 2010 at 9:27 am
Michelle - What a beautiful article!  Ray & I are so proud of you and are so happy we've gotten to know you - and we love Adam and his great personality!!
 
Balogamy said...
May 7, 2010 at 8:47 am
Amazing! I am so impressed Michelle! You are the inspiration! You keep letting your light shine girl! I am proud of you! What an amazing lesson.
 
judy said...
May 7, 2010 at 6:50 am
This was a great article! I wish more people took time to get to know people they think are strange or different. They might learn something.
 
Aunt Fran said...
May 7, 2010 at 6:36 am
Nice article, Michelle. A good reminder to all of us to be accepting and loving.
 
mom63of2 said...
May 7, 2010 at 6:15 am
What a great article, I wanted to cry.  Michelle is very mature for her age....and knowing Adam, he is a sweetheart!  Keep up the ggod work Michelle.....
 
JenniferHelner said...
May 7, 2010 at 4:48 am
I love this essay.  Michelle is a loving daughter and sister.  She loves her brother and truely understands him and watches out for him.  Adam is blessed to have her as a sister.  I am proud to call her my daughter.
 
shellyhelner replied...
May 16, 2010 at 10:37 am
Thank you guys soo much for all of the comments and ratings!! I am so happy with this paper!
 
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