Happy birthday to my brother Josh!
A young man who has risen to face challenges every day of his life. Even with having the diagnoses of an intellectual disability and autism, Josh is a strong, kind, friendly and resilient person. He says Hi to anyone, loves to buy presents, enjoys the fresh air in his wanderings and has a very good memory.
Alas there are things I wish he could forget and I hope he has. This includes the feelings of isolation when our family are all busy with our individual activities and work. The times when he was unable to be included in traditional games, events and sports because he didn't have the physical or intellectual capacity to participate. The looks on people's faces when they are shocked and stare rudely at his loud voice and big presence. I hope he puts these thoughts out of his mind.
Sometimes I wish that I could go back to our childhood so that I could help more with developing his character and independence. Even a simple thing as following a routine to make him feel safe and supported. Alas I realise I was only 7 when he was born and I had no where near the life experience or clinical skills that I have acquired now to have done those things.
Now I can only look to the future and work with my family and of course the great staff from the autism association of WA. This team has been pivotal to Josh entering the next chapter in his life. Moving out of home, getting a job and continuing to learn those daily life skills which we sisters do without a thought.
Josh is forever my innocent brother who didn't choose to be born into this world with the odds stacked against him. Yet he continues to amaze me with his wit, passion, energy and ideas. Having Josh in my life has inspired me on more than one occasion to reach out to persons in need and to strive toward my own independence in this world.
Here's to another twenty one years of adventure, life and Love. "How old will you be in 2063?" "I'll be 75 Josh!" #twentyone #happybirthday #brother #love #autismawareness