1. Gail Brunt
    July 6, 2020 @ 9:54 am

    Yes. We have 6 older, and one younger than our now 23 year old daughter who suffers from (yes, suffers) ASD and Borderline Personality Disorder. She has dominated our lives from infancy. I’m not saying that it’s all negative because we wouldn’t be who we are without these challenges, but when one person’s needs are so demanding and constant, it does dominate your life. When my second oldest daughter was finishing her first year of nursing school in Florida (we live in NH, also) she wanted us to come down for her pinning ceremony. I was reluctant- middle school was becoming way more difficult for K. I was getting calls from the school literally every day. My daughter said to me: “Mom, you have other kids. I want you and Dad to be here.” We went. I called the school principal, told her where we were going, who would be taking care of K, etc. She still called me every day, just to keep me abreast of what was happening, but with no expectation that I needed to do anything. But we learned several very important lessons: 1) We cannot do it all, by ourselves, every single day of every single week; 2) Self care is of primary importance. We need to get away from it all, take a break, shift some of the responsibility for a time; and 3) The hardest thing for every parent of a differently-abled child to face- we will not be here to protect this child forever. We are both in our 60’s, and facing the “Golden Years” with this often overwhelming responsibility (read up on Borderline Personality Disorder, then add in ASD). I am thankful that we have some of those siblings who are willing and able to help with these responsibilities. I’m sure they look at the people of the world through different eyes because of their sister. We look to the future with less trepidation because these kids grew up with this kid, and we know that she will be taken care of.


  2. Patsy Marino
    July 6, 2020 @ 11:10 am

    I see your son Joey. I see his compassion and his patience and his contribution to keep his special family a float. I also see his own struggle like I see the struggle of my own daughter whose younger brother has autism. The siblings are often the silent (or not so silent in our case) victims of this unfair genetic roulette. Your son is a good human and hopefully he will have a meaningful college experience next year.


  3. tchudson4
    July 6, 2020 @ 12:18 pm

    Yes Yes Yes. There should be boxes to check for those things. Those boxes are the ones that shape who you really are. What a good son your Joey is. As the first born he will always have that inclination to look behind him to make sure everyone is OK. He will be a good leader.


  4. Abby Levine
    July 6, 2020 @ 5:44 pm

    This is just beautiful. Should be distributed to college admissions officers everywhere. Totally agree our priorities are misguided and also agree unequivocally that the system is rigged.


  5. Bethany
    September 25, 2020 @ 7:11 pm

    I know this is late, but I would like that box. I would like that box for all the times I’ve cleaned up puke. For all the times I’ve changed diapers. For all the times that I’ve had to explain to my brother, that we need to sit, be calm, and quiet. For all the times that I have spelled out simple words on the fridge, and helped calm him down. For my silent tears, and worries that I won’t get enough scholarships. For the change that I want to see in the world. I want to help children like my brother.
    I just worry that I’m not in enough clubs, or doing enough leadership activities. I can’t be in those clubs, I can’t do those activities, but what I can do is care for my brother. Help my mother.
    I’m just worried that college admissions people won’t see that.


  6. Carrie Cariello
    October 3, 2020 @ 9:50 pm

    I see you, Bethany. I see you, and you are extraordinary.


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