A story of accompanying my younger brother to his Senior Prom.
By Elizabeth Osborn
Being an older sister of someone with Asperger’s is amazing and fun and silly … and at times it’s hard. My little brother and I are 19 months apart in age. Sometimes people think we’re twins. We’re very close and we look out for each other. When he’s having a bad day, I’m his person. In school when he would get overwhelmed and run from the classroom crying and inconsolable, the school would release me from class to go give love. I’d sit and hold him in silence. This was my role. I had a job to do to sit and hold him, to be in silence with him, to let his tears fall as he let go of the overwhelming energy exploding in him. So I sit.
Our family approach to his diagnosis is to attempt to experience as many “traditional” things as possible in a thoughtful and calculated way. He’s a young adult after all … a young adult with Asperger’s … but a young adult first.
Good sign. He puts on the rental tux shoes, not his cowboy boots. Boots don’t pinch your feet. They are worn and comfortable and secure. But he wears the tux shoes, the shoes that have to be tied. He still struggles to tie shoes. He hates water but he showers. He hates the feeling of water on his skin as it trickles down too hot or too cold touching when he doesn’t want to be touched. He’s wearing a stiff and scratchy and trim cut handsome rental tux … a tux that has been worn by countless others. He’s okay … he can do this … he is doing this. Tail wag.
Enjoy the journey.
Wag your tail.
Elizabeth Osborn is a Sophomore at the University of Oklahoma, studying to be a Special Education teacher with endorsements in both elementary education and Mathematics. She was born and raised in Des Moines, IA, is the middle of three children, and her younger brother Garrison has Asperger Syndrome.