Apr 26, 2008

The following is Mercedes' essay she wrote for COSAC

A Day In My Life
Sibling Essay Contest

I have three younger brothers, Hunter, Mason, and Ryder who have Autism. My dad has Asperger’s, but I can hardly tell he has it except for the fact that he obsesses over basketball and crosswords. You could ask him anything about one of the basketball players and he will tell you the height, weight, what position they’re playing, everything!

Hunter obsesses over everything he sees that makes him laugh. He used to be obsessed over the movie, Hairspray. In order to get him away from Hairspray, my mom introduced the movie Grease and now he watches it 24/7. I can even hear it now as I type this. He has been drawing since he was 3, and now he’s 9. He keeps improving because he draws all the time to wind down before bed. Over the years I feel jealous because I like to draw too, and I feel like he always has to be the best at drawing because it’s one of the only things he’s good at. If there’s something he can’t do the first time, he gets mad and frustrated and stomps to his room to draw.

Mason, is the second oldest, but you wouldn’t think so because he is taller and bigger than Hunter. Even though Mason and Hunter have the same diagnosis, they are totally opposite in personality. Mason is a Man’s Man, and Hunter is the exact opposite. Mason is obsessed with video games. He always has to have his own way or he will throw temper tantrums, and these are not ordinary temper tantrums. One time I got a video game controller slammed on my hand…bruised to the bone! Of course he didn’t mean it-- after his tantrum was over. I have had to learn to be more understanding than most kids my age, I think.

Ryder is age four and has severe Autism. The only word he can say is the word “up”. Ryder loves to spin, stare out the window, play with the blinds and blow raspberries. He loves to cuddle! One thing he does that I do not like is grinding his teeth. We always have to get him new chew toys because he will chew them up in one day! I babysit Ryder while my mom takes the other boys to therapy. Sometimes when we all go together, like after school, I wait in the car while they have therapy. I get sick of it but I take a book to read and that helps.

Autism to me means that the person who has it needs someone close in their lives, to teach them when every one else has given up, love them when they think no one does, and to except and love their personality no matter how hard it is. And believe me, some days are hard, but I still love them and always will.

By Mercedes McBride

Autism Awareness Ambassador
age 12, 7th grade

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Ernie and Oscar learn they like different things-great for kids on the Spectrum!