|Crazy Auntie Rachel & Andy at a family gathering in August 2011|
Monday, April 23, 2012
Autism changes nothing...a guest post.
The following post is from my sister, Rachel, who lives in Calgary.
I never knew I could love something so much that did not belong to me until I met Andy. I have two nephews and three nieces but Andy was my first. I met him when he was nine days old and the moment I held him I cried like a baby as I was overcome with emotion and instantly knew that I would do anything for this little boy.
I am proud to be an aunt and I am even prouder to be a crazy auntie. I love grabbing the kids and throwing them up into the air and chasing them around. I know that I get as much out of it as they do. After Andy was diagnosed with autism I worried as to what our relationship would be like as he grew up. I live three provinces away and so do not see him often. Each visit I am very quickly reminded that my role as crazy auntie is not to be changed with this diagnosis of autism.
I admit that when I arrive and see Andy I do have to hold myself back from immediately grabbing him and hugging him to my heart's content. I recognize he needs some time to once again get used to his crazy aunt, however, each visit the amount of time needed lessens. Andy knows exactly who I am and quickly remembers what is coming.
A couple of years ago I spent a week at Alisa's and so Andy really got used to me. The most amazing feeling of all was when I would walk in and Andy would see me and get ready in anticipation for me to come up and grab and throw him in the air. My face is a full smile just thinking about it.
So my initial worry as to whether autism would effect my role in Andy's life as crazy auntie Rachel. ABSOLUTELY NOT! Autism changes nothing.
I still get my tickles and cuddles in and even at our very hectic family gatherings (and if you know our family you will understand the emphasis on the word hectic) I get my hugs.
Andy has a similar relationship with my husband, his crazy uncle Mike. He loves to be chased around by uncle Mike as well as be held upside down (I think this is one of his favorites).
Our biggest teacher of autism changing nothing of course was Andy, however, right beside him teaching us were Alisa and John. They are amazing parents and amazing teachers. They have a beautiful, amazing, funny and silly 4 year old son and they parent him accordingly.
Autism changes nothing!
If you would like to do a guest post please let me know.