So, I’ve got a problem. It’s a Friday night and everyone’s piling into the restaurant for a quick bite to eat. You’ve got my parent’s in the back, cooking up a storm in the kitchen, and you’ve got little old me working the tables. What’s the problem you ask? Oh nothing, just the fact that I’m the only waiter at a restaurant that seats about 50. My brother has about 50 different personalities that all need service and attention. At table 3 he’s having a fit because I haven’t reached his table yet. At table 8 he’s drawing on the walls, and at table 1 he’s trying to walk into the kitchen to cook his own food. As I try not to pull out the 5 strands of hair left on my head, I ask myself, “What can I do”.
So many times have I asked myself, “what can I do to help my brother talk”, “how can I calm him down when he’s screaming at the top of his lungs”, “how do I help other people understand autism so that the world can be a safer place for him”? I still don’t know the answers to all of my questions, but in the meantime, the tables need to be attended to.
Being a sister, not a parent, to my brother puts me in a unique situation. I’m not completely responsible for him, but I have a responsibility to my parents, to him, and to our family, to help out as much as I possibly can. I’m not a parent, but I’m old enough to know how to mediate situations between my hardworking parents and my boisterous brother. Having worked in a kitchen before, I know that when the chef says “Order up!” I’ve got to pick up the plate and make those customers happy.
A household with autism operates very much like a busy restaurant. With that being said, as long as my parents keep cooking up the food, I’ll be happy to deliver the goods to my rowdy little customers!