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Friday, May 10, 2013

Watch this video, and read why

Here's a link to a video made by students at Freddy's school, Boston Latin...


And here is the amazing part.  The video was filmed by a girl in Freddy's class he knows, and the boy named Paul in the video is a close friend who is also in Freddy's class.  And Freddy never knew, and the other kids never knew, that they shared something with each other.  Each has a younger sibling with autism.  When Paul describes life with his sister (and yes, he ever has a SISTER with autism, rarer still!), it could be Freddy talking.

The video made me cry.  It made me cry for a couple reasons.  One is the truthfulness of the boys talking.  They are not pretending autism is anything but what it is, but the love they have for their sisters is so very apparent.  They are honest about how hard the crying is, the running away---the same things Freddy knows so well about life with Janey.  It also made me cry because I felt less alone, in a way that's a little complex.  I know there are other families out there with autistic children, and autistic girls, but until seeing the video, I didn't know that Freddy knew others like himself.  He didn't either.  Boys his age don't talk about the challenges of life with an autistic sister on a daily basis. That is normal.  But now Freddy knows, and I know, that someone else, actually quite a few someone else's, that he knows well, gets it.  Gets it by living it.  When Freddy got home and I showed him the video, I was crying very, very hard, and not quite even understanding myself why I was, but I think it's the joy of connection---of knowing that you aren't alone, a feeling you all have given me, and now maybe Freddy can feel too.


sara said...

Some thing struck me listening to these boys: they are so much more able to talk about their feelings and articulate their lives than boys I knew when I was a teenager. This generation is also more open to kids with differences because those kids aren't as isolated as they were when I was growing up, so they are more tolerant and accepting. So if we do have to have a rise in Autism, it coincides with this generation's increased sensitivity, so I guess, it's never been a better time to be an Autistic kid if that makes sense.

Suzanne said...

That's true. It's something I've thought---if Janey was autistic in the 60s or earlier, I'd feel much, more more alone, and be blamed for her autism probably, and the boys would not ever most likely know anyone else with a sister like her. Those boys on the video were great. That was a big part of what made me cry---how honest and sweet they were. There are really some advantages to having an autistic child in this autism boom, I guess.