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As difficult as it is to be the parent of an autistic child, it can be just as difficult to have an autistic brother or sister. Andrew, whose younger brother David has autism, says, "The hardest part is being lonely. I wish I had somebody to play with."

"Sometimes when my friends come over and he does something really embarrassing it kind of makes me feel like, 'Why does it happen to me?'" Andrew says. "And it makes me feel like I'm just different from everybody else and I'm trapped inside my own world like David is."

Sometimes he feels upset that the family seems to revolve around David. "I just think they should give me some attention, too. He gets all the attention every day, every second of my life, so, like, I'm just off in my own world."

Andrew also wants other people to see all the great things about David. "What I want people to know is that he's not dumb, but he is really smart in his own way. He can swim really well. He can Rollerblade as well as I can. He can do so many things and he's really lovable. He loves to be with his family."

Scott—Andrew and David's father—says juggling his sons' unique needs "is a constant balancing act and there's a lot of guilt involved."
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FROM: The Faces of Autism
Published on April 05, 2007

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