Here’s part 2 of my chapter’s snippet
As an adolescent:
I came to realize the sad fact that some people find humor in abusing the vulnerable. When Hope was veering his teens, a random child took advantage of him by telling him to remove his clothes and run around the neighborhood naked… which he obeyed. Hope used to be compliant at the core. It took my mom three years to teach him to say “No” to unreasonable requests, especially from random bimbos like that kid. Unfortunately, when he finally learnt to say no, he said “no” to everything. It took several more years to train Hope to recalibrate that!
With time I began to understand that Hopes illness was neither his wish nor temporary, but I still felt some embarrassment to be seen in close proximity with him. I wanted to help, but from a distance. It took me some time to learn to empathize and be selfless with Hope.
As an adult:
Presently, when Hope comes back home with his caregiver, it limits either my mom’s or my own time to be out. We have to coordinate who will be home early evening to receive Hope when he is ready to return. It’s a sacrifice to cut your day short but at the same time I’m glad I can be put to use for the benefit of my brother and my family. As an adult, I can say with pride that I’m glad I’m responsible enough to care for Hope and be self-directed, having knowledge of his triggers and behaviors.
When it comes to Hope, I can’t help but imagine what goes on in his mind as he goes through life. Does he really know that he is recognized and loved? I can now honestly say that I have accepted my brother Hope just as he is. I’m determined to utilizing his strengths to encourage him and continue to remind him that he is loved just as he is whenever I can.
When settled, my brother Hope is a calm soul, full of energy, handsome, and has a photographic memory. He knows everyone’s birthdays and basically holds a calendar in his head. He never flinches when asked what the date is and he gets it right all the time. Hope will lead you back to your vehicle should you forget where you parked it and he usually knows the direction back home if we are lost. I know you all were thinking he’s just a fat nut case but honestly, he has tons of great qualities.
Hope’s Behaviors We Must Live With
If you aren’t familiar with symptoms of Autism, here as some that my brother presents with. Left to himself, my brother Hope does not initiate conversations. Neither does he socialize on his own.
Poor communication and agitation
Hope struggles with voicing his opinion. When asked to state how his day has been he will say ‘uhmmmm’ for what feels like 32 years. He generally answers closed ended questions well though. At times he will lash out and resort to hitting others when he becomes upset. As a family we often have to do some guessing to figure out why he is acting up. Sometimes it’s because he wants to repeat a recently worn shirt before wash day. Other times it is because he doesn’t want to go out with a caregiver and just wants to stay at home and pace all day.
When Hope comes back home after a long day out and he is tired or hungry, he will start stomping on the ground, jumping up and down, attempting to hit others and making noise instead of using his words to express what he wants. We had to learn to place a pillow up for protection, a foot placed over his foot to prevent him from kicking. We also encourage take in ten deep breaths to ease stress and calm him down. Ultimately, Hope’s fast acting medication is placed under his tongue to save the day.
What learning might mean to some
With Hope, you just never know what craziness will come out of the good things he learns. For example, my mom taught Hope how to call for help in case of emergencies, as a safety measure. So now, when agitated, Hope discretely picks up the phone and calls 911 then hangs up without saying a word. The police will then show up to see if everything is all right. To prevent the diversion of police resources away from where it is needed, we have had to hide the home phone under couches or in different rooms. This story is like the boy who cried wolf. Hope has called the station so many times that the police probably wouldn’t even give a raccoons behind to respond anymore…
This is where I will end for part 2 of my chapter. I hope you liked and enjoyed it. Part 3 will be posted next week. Feel free to leave a comment on your thoughts down below in the comment section and subscribe for future posts. God bless and see you next week!