Message to Siblings

I hope I havn’t misled The major focus of my blog is autism from the point of view of a sibling. My older brother, Michael is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. He was at home until I was about 10 years old. After he went to Willowbrook, a large mental institution on Staten Island, we […]

Book Review: Autism, The Invisible Cord

Autism, The Invisible Cord A Sibling’s Diary, by Barbara Cain Published by the American Psychological Association I came across the author of this book while browsing through Twitter profiles. I compulsively look for tweeters with ‘autism’ in their profile description and hit the jackpot when I came upon Barbara Cain’s. Not only did she […]

Relative Time

I think it was Woody Allen who said, “Time is nature’s way of preventing everything from happening at once.” He’s a very smart guy. Different phases Time is different for everyone, I think… or should I say perception of time is different. When I was growing up, it seemed that there were three phases to […]

Everybody Loves Michael

Mike was a very popular guy when I used to visit him in his group home. I imagine that he still is. Pretty good for a guy who doesn’t talk. When I lived close by, I frequently got calls about Mike’s condition, usually if he had a seizure or a cut or a bruise.  He […]

Those Moments

This is how I remember most of the moments between Dad and Mike. Dad, although tireless, seldom connected with Mike.  Was it Mike being rebellious or uncomprehending? I know that I rebelled at times. Did Dad expect too much and demand that things be only his way? Was he the uncomprehending one? When I used […]

Mike and Dad

Dad never gave up. One would think that after so many years, he would. But he must have thought there was hope of some kind. The particulars escape me, but I remember that he always played with Michael and he always wanted to visit him at Willowbrook. When he was placed in a group home, […]

Party Animal

I mentioned a few posts ago that I should reallyretrieve my journals. I am sure they are laden with details about the first dance I attended with my older brother. It was wintertime and I arrived at the lodge first.  I didn’t know if Michael was looking forward to it or if he even knew […]

High Five

At Mike’s home, the people who took care of him taught him to do a ‘high five’. Michael liked to hold his other hand over his ear. Was he listening to something? Was it a habit?  I suppose that he felt most comfortable that way.  One of his housemates used to put his arm behind […]

My Vacation with Michael – Part 2

My Vacation with Michael – Part 2 The following was taken from notes I made at the time of my outing with Michael. I got permission from his group home manager to accompany him on a vacation with other clients from group homes in the area. We went from Queens, NY to somewhere in Pennsylvania. […]