Mr.Aspergers on what it is like to have a sibling with Aspergers

Posted: October 16, 2012 in family
Tags: , ,
In many ways having a brother with Aspergers must be a real pain. Sometimes I have said really horrible things that must have made my brother and sister ashamed. One time when my brother’s then girlfriend was over for supper I told her “don’t worry my mother only poisons people she doesn’t like…  you better watch out.” There are other times that I embarassed them that I clearly do not remember that they might or might not remember. I am sure it’s been an extra responsibility on them to make sure nothing bad happens to me, which has probably helped them become the fine upstanding people that they have become, and  they have probably heard me kvetching and whining more than if they had other siblings. They never burden me with their problems and yet I don’t feel the same constraints and will complain to them about my problems.
At the same time I am sure that having a brother with Aspergers must be rewarding in many ways. They never had to worry about being the most awkward person at a party. That would be me. Also there is the sheer good feeling they must get seeing me overcome obstacles in my way. All three of us used to coach Special Olympics for several years with my sister as the head-coach. During that time I was able to experience the joy of seeing these athletes score a basket in basketball. Scoring a basket may not be a huge difficulty to many people when there is no defense, and you are three feet away from the hoop, nevertheless, some of these athletes struggled. Yet they never gave up and after shooting 10 shots they would get one in. The look of triumph on their faces and the incredible feeling of watching these athletes struggle and persevere and overcome instead of getting upset with themselves and quitting was an amazing gift and always made me feel so special to be there in their moment of triumph. Like these athletes I have had many of my own struggles and yet have overcome them through pure perseverance and being there in my moment of triumph must be extremely uplifting for my family to watch. At one point one of my teachers was very worried about me and confided in my parents that they thought I would never be able to read at grade level and yet despite that, I have gone on to graduate with a masters degree in Library and Information Science program from the University of Pittsburgh. I struggled with the most simpliest hand-eye-coordination and yet I went on to being one of the starters of my high school basketball team. Granted it was for a small Jewish high school where everyone made the team, but nevertheless, I started for that team.
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