Sibling love part 2: Did the aliens take my boys?

Who are these boys and where are my sons????

I thought that my boys tolerated rather than liked each other.  They are both on the autism spectrum but they are so different.

Philip is mathematically and musically oriented– it goes with his perfectionism. Josh has little tolerance for math, likes music but doesn’t want to read the notes. There are more pressing things to be perfectionistic about. (Perfectionism, although in different areas, is definitely a common trait with those two.)

They both like diy stuff but in radically different ways. Philip likes to make the tools talk and act like the ones on Handy Manny.  Josh wants to go into construction.  At 2 years old, he knew the names of all Dad’s tools and helped Dad build a small wooden trailer.  When he’s stressed, he grabs his tool box and scrapwood and pounds away building interesting objects.

Philip doesn’t mind that he’s a loner. He’d rather be alone most of the time. He was one of those kids who had a problem with eloping (hee hee… when I first heard that term I pictured him eloping to Vegas… but not that kind of eloping, of course). Josh likes being with people. When he first moved in with us 6 years ago (he’s my stepson, but I claim him as my own!), he was always two steps behind me.

Philip’s room is neat.  Josh’s room… well, we haven’t seen the floor in a while. When they shared a bedroom it wasn’t pretty.

And so on and so forth.

So today, when I heard this exchange, I was taken aback. For two boys who have communication issues, this was major.  I was so glad I heard this when they were unaware that I was listening.

Josh: “Sorry, Philip, I have to go to school now. I’ll miss you and I love you.”

Philip: “Well, I love you and I’ll miss you too.”

Josh: “You’re the greatest brother in the world.”

Admittedly, Josh did have a sarcastic tone, as most teenagers that I know. Being somewhat skeptical, I considered that Josh might have been joking.   But then again…

This is just one more example that there is more than meets the eye, especially with kids on the autism spectrum: feelings that aren’t voiced, words that aren’t expressed, real human beings behind the stims and the “off” behaviors.

Knowing this lightens my load.  Sometimes I don’t give my kids the benefit of the doubt, and sometimes I get burned out and way too skeptical.

Today– I feel that maybe, just maybe, we have a “normal” family!  🙂

4 responses to this post.

  1. How wonderful! I sometimes think that, as much as it can be easier to only have one child, we have missed out on a lot of good things that come from having more than one.


  2. That’s awesome. Truly. Tone of voice, I think, is incredibly difficult for ASD. It was great of you to embrace the truly touching moment. 🙂


  3. I think there are pros and cons no matter how many kids we have. And I agree that tone of voice is very difficult. We went though a period of “mirroring” my oldest son’s tone, and he’d get so offended and stomp off. He still hasn’t quite gotten the tone of voice thing, but we keep working on it!


  4. OH, and I take back the part about P’s room being neat… was just up there…


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