'My son Mason has autism and he doesn't speak. But I want to talk about his brother, Richie.'


My son Mason is seven years old. He has autism. He has epilepsy. He doesn’t speak. He is beautiful. He is strong. He is a fighter.

But this isn’t about Mason. This is about his little brother. This is about all of the brothers and sisters who have a sibling with disabilities.

Mason’s brother’s name is Richie. Richie is six years old and smart. And sweet. And so funny. Richie has truly redefined what it means to be a brother, to be a sibling, and has shown us that just because a sibling relationship isn’t typical doesn’t mean it can’t be purely wonderful.

To Richie, to all the siblings — we see you, we notice you, and we are amazed by you.

You, the siblings who have had to learn at a younger age than most what autism (or any disability) is all about.

You, the siblings who explain to your friends, in the simplest of terms, everything about your sibling. And then show them they can accept and love your sibling exactly the way they are. Just as you do.

You, the siblings who have stepped in when you saw your mum or dad at the brink of sadness, of frustration, of exhaustion, and soothed your sibling with a disability in a way only you can.

You, the siblings who know acceptance and take it out into your daily lives, making life a better place for kids that are different. You do it every single day, whether you realise it or not. You accept, you don’t judge, and you are kind; that is all you have ever known.

You, the siblings who have had to grow up too fast, who have seen the bad and dark moments and helped get us all through it with your strength.

You, the siblings who tell us and remind us that just because your sibling with a disability doesn’t speak, doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t have anything to say. You show us that love needs no words.

Listen: Kathy Lette speaks to Mia Freedman about her son who lives with autism. Post continues. 

You, the siblings who have found your own ways to enter the world of someone you love who is different. You have found a way to enter the world of someone who doesn’t think like you, act like you, do anything like you. You have found a way to enter this world because you want to.

You, the siblings I have no doubt will grow up and go out into the world with an empathy that just can’t be taught, an empathy you already have within you. This is what our world needs most.

You are special. You are understanding. You have a kindness in your heart that is inherently just part of you.

Your home lives aren’t always easy, “normal” or the same as what your peers experience. Day to day life can get especially hectic, with no breaks, no remissions, no reprieves. Sometimes because of this we, your parents, may not tell you enough that we think you are the most amazing humans to ever walk this earth. And we are so proud of you.

We are in complete awe and admiration of you. Every single day.

In fact you, siblings of a child with a disability — you truly may be the strongest ones of us all.

This post originally appeared on The Mighty and was republished here with full permission.