What our life is like, part 5: “The Big Little Brother”

There are so many things that are hard to manage when you have a child/children with autism. The  pain often out ways the joy. Fewer things are more difficult than trying to manage your “typical” children along with your autistic ones. It’s a constant struggle trying to make sure they don’t lost in the shuffle.

One of the things that I’m really having a hard time with right now it that fact that Elliott Richard is the “big little brother”. By this I mean that Elliott Richard (even through 6 years younger) is Gavin’s big brother. Instead of Elliott Richard having a big brother to look up to and be watched over by it’s the other way around. Elliott Richard looks after Gavin. He is always reminding Gavin about good choices and to use walking feet ect.  He is constantly make Gavin is happy. Elliott Richard gives up what he wants to do just so Gavin can play with him or stay in the same room. For example, Elliott Richard loves playing video games. Gavin however, can’t handle watching him without freaking out because Elliott Richard doesn’t care about wining. So when this happens we tend to just send Gavin to his room so Elliott Richard can play without the problems. Most of the time he will simply give up playing just so Gavin can stay down.  This type of sacrifice for Gavin’s benefit is common place for Elliott Richard to do.

It’s sad for me because I feel Elliott Richard is put into an unfair position. As much as we try to give him a “normal” life we still have to cater to what’s best for Gavin. If we don’t then Gavin has issues that effect EVERYONE in the house. It feels like trying to strike a balance is like fighting a losing battle. I often wonder what kind of impact this will have on Elliott Richard in the long run. I imagine he will be a compassionate protector (as he already is). I truly hope we can ensure he lives enough of his childhood that he has no regrets.

LT

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