I never knew or even heard of a speech-language pathologist until my younger sister was born. The ideas I had about us growing up, playing together, and having nicknames for each other were very different from our reality. You see, my sister is on the Autism Spectrum, which made certain aspects of our childhoods very different. Her abrupt reactions to the smallest things in her visual field, her physical meltdowns when she became overwhelmed, the way she would repeat lines from cartoons as if it were a typical conversation are examples which highlighted some of our differences. At that time, I couldn’t understand the world through her eyes. Her reactions, to me, seemed so abrupt. Her language was so repetitive and disjointed. But she would smile when I picked her up and spun her around. She would laugh when I would chase her or hide under a blanket waiting for her to find me. She loved watching me play computer and video games, captivated by the images on the screen. In a way, I knew she was THERE, but REACHING her and forming a consistent connection was hard. I often became so frustrated with myself, because I thought there was something wrong with me and how I was approaching her. But of course, being so young I had no idea what that “something” was...
Devon Brunson, MS, CCC-SLP, CBIS
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