Rosie here, me and Mum are taking it in turns to blog.
Sometimes people ask me what it is like living in such a strange family. To me it’s not strange at all, its all I’ve ever known. I would have said ‘To me it is normal’, but after my Tedmed speech, ‘who would want to be normal?’ seems to have become my new catchphrase!
Mum is obsessed with the subconscious. She is a hypnotherapist and is always going on about our consciousness-filter. We let in what we want to, keep out what we don’t. If we are feeling down our filter cuts out all the good stuff, so that we can only see the bad. If we feel good, our filter gets rid of all the bad stuff, and the world is great. I’m not sure how much of this stuff I believe, but I know that when I look at my brother and sister, I only see their good qualities. Most of the time.
Daisy is great. She is the pretty one in the family for sure. Her laugh is like a tinkling bell and everyone who sees her says ‘Aww, so cute!’ – I could be jealous but I think that too. Lenny does whatever the hell he wants, so I could be jealous of this as well. If he gets into the kitchen all hell breaks loose; he might turn the taps on for the pleasure of seeing the water dripping over the side; he might get a full bag of rice (mum gets massive ones from the Asian supermarket) and break it open, scattering the rice everywhere. He loves doing stuff like this, does Len. Who knows why? All I know is that sometimes if we join in his activities instead of telling him off it’s great, like a food fight or something. He knows what he wants to do and his isn’t going to let a little thing like social norms get in his way.
Dad is great, he works hard for us, and also, when he gets home from a hard day’s work, if he sees Mum all tired and harassed, he takes over, like takes Daisy and Lenny out swimming or to the park or something, so that we can have some quiet time. I know that its hard for Mum and Dad, looking after us three, but they pull together and support one another.
So this is the story. Lenny was diagnosed with autism when he was super small, like three years old, though it had been very obvious since he was two. Everyone was relieved when he got the diagnosis, because the waiting was over and Mum and Dad could get more support. We got a lovely book called ‘Little Rainman’ which explained autism from like a child’s point of view. Though I was really young (seven, nearly eight) I got it straight away. The book was told by a little boy called Jonathan (though he couldn’t speak, his Mum had given him the words, just like we sometimes have to do for Daisy and Lenny). The book explained how he loved to spin, how he was afraid of loud noises, but liked to make even louder noises. How he sometimes felt uncomfortable looking into people’s eyes. I read the book once. ‘Hey, I have that!’ I said to Mum. Mum looked at Dad and Dad looked at Mum. It was like ‘oh’.
About a year later I got my own diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, but from the very start the condition was explained to me in a positive way. All the greatest movers and shakers in history had Asperger’s apparently, Mum and Dad told me. Einstein, Eddison, Mozart, Di Vinci. How could I think of it as a disease or a disability when it was described to me like this? As I got older, I learned that unfortunately some people are challenged by difference, and want to look down on anyone who doesn’t fit. I don’t believe that the world HAS to be like this, though. My vision of the world that me and my siblings will grow into is one of acceptance, love and celebration. Who’s in? ♥