What I Have Learnt as an Autism Sibling

Something I’ve noticed lately is the things I’ve learnt from being Dian’s sister have played a huge part in my life and contributed immensely to the person I am today. It’s given me valuable life lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. A big part of being an autism sibling is learning to have patience. Meltdowns and milestones all take patience. If Dian has his 3 rd meltdown of the day or needs extra help to reach a milestone you’ve been working on with him for months, you need to have patience. Getting frustrated, annoyed, or mad isn’t going to make the situation any better or him or for you so I’ve learnt patience is always key. Not only does this apply to situations with Dian, it applies to all aspects of life. Being able to carry this trait with me has truly helped. I’ve been able to have more successes than failures because of it. I’ve learnt acceptance and to be non-judgmental from being Dian’s sister. I see people have these little quirks and characterist

Our Sensory Processing System

I recen tly purchased "Sensory Survival Guide" by Aoife Cos tello, an  Occupa tional  T herapis t from Co. Mayo. Aoife is  the person behind   Occupa tional  T herapy ABC and Sensory Living, which can be found on Ins tagram and Facebook . She has wro te fan tas tic eBooks and crea ted wonderful produc ts for bo th schools and homes.   I found her eBook so informa tive, helpful and easy  to unders tand, no t only for Dian bu t for my college s tudies. She kindly agreed  to do  this blog pos t where she gives us a be t ter unders tanding of our Sensory Processing Sys tem.  What is our sensory processing system and what does it consist of? Sensory processing refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into responses. For those with Sensory Processing difficulties, sensory information goes into the brain but does not get organised into appropriate responses. It’s not the the person doesn’t receive the sensory information they just can’t i

Being a Social Care Practitioner Student

When I tell people I’m studying Social Care Practice in college, a lot of the responses look like this: “that a very difficult sector to work in, why would you be doing that to yourself?” “you’d want a lot of patience for that, very difficult to work in”   “you’d want to be looking for the easy jobs in that” “I don’t know how you do it, I wouldn’t have the patience to be working with them” “oh no, that wouldn’t be for me, too hard to work in” I’m always taken back by these responses because they’re usually followed up by “my daughter/son works in that area” or “my grandniece has Autism or Down Syndrome”. Hearing this regularly drives me to study harder and work harder. I want to change the stigma around the social care sector. I want to show people that it is the most eye-opening, rewarding, exciting and accepting sector to work in. I want people to see the joy and happiness it can bring to others. The negative stigma around social care needs to change. I read so

What It’s Like in an Autism Home During COVID 19

A lo t of families during the Coronavirus Pandemic are experiencing so many feelings and emotions. Stress, anxiety, panic, fear, worry, boredom, uncertainty and more. For our household, we’ve seen what this uncertainty and struggle can do to a young boy with autism. Every day we hear the same few things from Dian. “go to the shop”, “wanna go to Finn’s house” (his cousin) and “wanna go to McDonald’s”. Explaining to him that everything is closed and we’re all on lockdown because of coronavirus isn’t so simple and straightforward. You can see the frustration fill his body and how upset he gets. He feels we don’t understand what he wants but we do. We just can’t give it to him. Every day is filled with meltdowns and tears because he doesn’t understand what’s going on around him. We’ve told him it’s “sick holidays” and that “Freya’s waiting for McDonald’s to text her it’s open”. He wants to leave the house so badly, so we bring him on walks and to the local lake, but we know it’

Dear Dian,

You are a funny, smart, beautiful boy and I wish everyone could see that. You get up everyday with a smile on your face, filled with happiness and positivity, ready for the day ahead. Sometimes those days are good to you and sometimes they’re bad. I wish I could shelter you from the evil and unfairness in this world, but people will always find a way to bring you unhappiness. I’ve seen people talk down to you, about you in front of you, speak so poorly of autism having no education on it whatsoever. I’ve heard people use autism as an insult, speak of it as an illness, a disease, something disgusting. People constantly bring autism into arguments, as if it’s something they can use when they please. How does one person exposed to this much cruelty, wake up every morning with a smile on their face? Dian, when you see me get upset and frustrated by these people, you comfort me. They are cruel and unfair to you, yet you still share so much love and care with this world.

Interview with an Occupational Therapist

1). What work does Occupational  Therapy entail? We help kids improve their performance in occupations such as self-care, feeding, eating, sleeping, and learning by addressing underlying issues or difficulties like fine motor skills, gross motor skills, sensory processing, problem solving and attention to name a few! We also help children engage in their social and physical environment .  2). What does your everyday job consist of? The daily life of an OT changes everyday and that’s one of the things I love about it. Every kid we see has different needs and goals. A typical day often involves a combination of assessments, intervention treatment sessions and school visits.   It is possible for me to see kids at clinic, home or school. Below are some of the most common areas I work in as a Paediatric OT. Occupational therapists might: help kids work on fine motor skills so they can grasp and release toys and develop good handwriting skills address hand–eye

From a Sibling of a Child with Autism

As a sibling to my wonderful little brother Dian, I have gained a different outlook on life. I can see people’s struggles more clearly and always aim to help them in any way possible. I don’t judge people who use special equipment or may act differently to me like flapping their hands or jumping up and down. I am more stubborn and determined from the fighting we do as a family to get Dian’s needs met. People who say having a sibling with a disability is a burden, truly don’t see the greatness inside of them. Without Dian, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, and I know he has brought the best out in me. When Dian was diagnosed, I learned how unfair and cruel the world could be. As a result, I matured quicker than other people my age. I feel I have different problems than other people my age. While some young people’s problems might be deciding what to wear out Friday night, I’m trying to solve the problems that people with autism are experiencing all over the country. I don’t