A guest post (My 16 yr old daughter Shann)

I was talking with my older daughter Shann this morning and she told me I should make a list of things we can no longer say or do because of PA. I thought about this for a while and then asked her if she wanted to guest blog for me and she could do it. She and I discussed this for a bit, I gave her some ideas and sent her to write. Also being, I was working on a post for the past two days that I have not been able to get just right (and I was getting a little worked up over it too). It might be good for me to let her do this one for me.

 Therefore, without much more introduction, here is my 16yr old daughter Shann…

 Having a little sister who is 12 years younger than me and autistic is not easy. I have found that there are certain things I cannot say around her, for instance Disney, if anyone says that word she then expects we will go to Disneyland. Others are simply words my Mom and Dad do not want her picking up; I have been prohibited from teaching her how to say the word dude. The following is a list of words we cannot say around her:

Ÿ  Bath aka B. A. T. H.

Ÿ  Disney aka the D word

Ÿ  Candy aka C.A.N.D.Y.

Ÿ  Target aka the bulls eye

Ÿ  Market aka Denios (the local swap meet/farmers market)

Ÿ  Movies/videogames aka Netflix

Ÿ  Any holiday (Christmas especially)

Ÿ  Outside (this is also spelled out we dread the day she knows how to spell these things)

Ÿ  Amanda (my friend and PA’s personal jungle gym)

Ÿ  Shows

Ÿ  Go places (this usually means Target or McDonalds)

Ÿ  McDonalds

Ÿ  Ice cream

Ÿ  Bubbles 

       Not only are there things I cannot say around her but also some things I cannot do. PA has asthma and a severe allergy to peanuts. I have to be very careful about wearing perfume around her and sadly I cannot eat any peanut products while she is around (which is hard since I take after my mother in the sense that I LOVE everything peanut butter). I also have to be careful about leaving my drawing stuff where she can get it because no matter how many times I get mad at her she does not learn that sissy’s drawing pad is strictly OFF LIMITS unless she is told otherwise.

I have to be careful about where I nap too, seeing as one of her favorite things to do is wake me up. Just yesterday I was napping under a quilt in the armchair and she comes over and yanks the blanket off me saying “Sissy you sleeping? Wake up wake up!” Usually I don’t nap but I fell asleep watching the news, generally if she wakes me up it consists of her climbing onto my bed and shouting “Wake up sissy!!” and then when I peek my head out from under the covers she does her evil little laugh. I love my little sister dearly but she does annoy me so…. 

The following is a list of things PA does that I despise:

Ÿ  Repeat a question over and over until I answer

Ÿ  Climb on me when I’m trying to read

Ÿ  Wake me up

Ÿ  Climb on me when I’m trying to draw

Ÿ  Try and steal my food, one example of this would be when she was about a year old and I was sitting on the floor eating a taco she tried twice coming up in front of me to take it off of my plate which resulted in me gently swatting her hand away. Then she got crafty, she came up behind me and gave me a hug and while I was distracted proceeded to try to snatch my taco.

Ÿ  Steal my stuff while I’m not looking

Ÿ  Make a mess with her food while I’m babysitting her (example her mashed potatoes get everywhere)

Ÿ  Yell in my ear

Although she does do many things that frustrate me to no end I adore my little sister, despite a few evil tendencies she really is very sweet.

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4 responses to “A guest post (My 16 yr old daughter Shann)

  1. Aww PA is so lucky to have Shann as her older sister. It must be very difficult to live with a sibling with autism. It’s hard enough to be a teen. To have the added stress of worry for a little sister that you love but must be super careful of is extra hard. I think Shann will always be 100 x more mature than her peers because of her special relationship with her sister. How lovely for a mama to have two such wonderful girls to love!!!

  2. I agree with Karen. We often forget how the lives of the siblings of children affected by autism change. They are grieving losses, too, as parents are. Being 4-5 is a hard age, too, for a child with autism. I think, though, that some of these things might be the same if PA didn’t have autism, just because of the age difference. In a few years, I could see Shann becoming fiercely protective of PA if anybody should say anything remotely negative about her, or worse yet, PA becomes a victim of bullying which has become rampant and goes often unchecked in our school systems despite their zero-tolerance claims. Thank you, Shann, for sharing your insights and wisdom.

  3. Kudos to Shann. I can tell that she put a lot of thought in this post and that she really loves her little sister. It’s good that she realizes that she has to make sacrifices and that she doesn’t hold a grudge for it. This is really well-written.