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How My 9-Year-Old Daughter Explained My Son’s Autism in Just a Few Pen Strokes

My daughter knows I write. So I had to ask her.

“Naomi, is it ok for mummy to share this with other people? Is that ok with you?”

She smiled and in her usual determined way took the sheet back from me and pointed to her strokes again.

“Only if you make sure you tell everyone that it’s ok to have autism. Make sure people know Isaac does HAVE wires. He has a brain. He is trying. If I could make his wires straight Mummy I would, do you know that?”

I hugged her tight and kissed her forehead. She doesn’t want her brother to not have autism. I know that. She just wants to hear his voice, be able to play with him, brush her teeth beside him, write stories with him and practice her times tables with him like she does her friends from school.

She might want a brother with straight lined connections, but she could not love her autistic brother more if she tried, with crisscross jumbled wires and all the wonderful quirkiness that that brings.

Her understanding maybe oversimplified in many ways but her fierce protection and love can never be denied.

I keep looking at that piece of paper.

She’s so right. My son is severely autistic with significant learning difficulties. He will need care all his life. But she’s spot on: he still has wires. He still has a brain. He can learn. He has potential. Life may be much more confusing for him with wires that go different ways to what ours do but is that such a massive problem?

Maybe, just maybe, having straight lined connections in your brain is not for everyone. The world would be a very boring place if all our brains looked the same after all.

Miriam Gwynne
Miriam Gwynne
Miriam Gwynne lives in Scotland with her husband and 8-year-old twins. Both children have additional needs with Naomi having autism, an eating disorder and anxiety and Isaac having complex autism, neurofibromas type 1, learning difficulties and vision impairment. Isaac is non-verbal. Miriam writes for Huffington Post, Autism Awareness.com, Family Fund, and Firefly as well as her own blog, (www.faithmummy.wordpress.com). Trained as a teacher, Miriam has run her own business, managed a children's play center and now devotes all her time caring for her miracle children.

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Candace Cameron Bure took to Instagram over the weekend with a walk down memory lane as she celebrated 28 years with husband, Valeri Bure.

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When Dylan Beard showed up at the Millrose Games at The Armory in New York City in February, no one knew who he was. 7.44 seconds later, he became the third fastest hurdler in the world. When it was over, he returned to his day job at the Walmart deli counter in Wake Forest, NC.

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A pair of twin babies are making the internet swoon this week after a video captured by their mom shows the heartwarming moment the two brothers “met” each other for the first time.