I am Melissa. I am eight years old and I have a brother who is eleven. His name is Mark. My brother has autism and I figured out this year that I have some of it too. Mark goes to a special school and I go to a regular school but I have special classes. Sometimes Mark scares me because he gets upset. When he loses control he can scream really loud, say nasty things and even punches walls. Sometimes mom and dad have to hold him so he won’t hurt himself or someone else. It makes me cry and feel awful.
There were lots of times when Mark had to live at a hospital. I missed him and was afraid that someday I would get sent away too. I feel guilty because when he was gone, part of me felt better because it was quiet and I could finally get all of the attention. I am very jealous of Mark. He gets more attention than I do. He always gets to do things first. He always gets his way. I whine and cry a lot because I want to feel special and loved…sometimes I feel very alone and left out.
I used to think I was very dumb because I learned stuff really slow. It is hard to make friends and it is hard to speak to people and get them to understand what I mean. Mom and the teachers told me how smart I really am. Some stuff is really easy to me, but when I get stuck or make mistakes, I get so mad. I have a lot of trouble with my reading. This is very embarrassing to me.
There are times when I want so much to be special, to be the best, the funniest, smartest girl ever. But sometimes I do things that make everyone angry and I do not understand what happened. No one understands me and I am really scared that I won’t ever be special to anyone, not even to me. My mom says I am a lot like her when she was a kid. My dad says I will grow up to be an amazing person. Mark says he will help me with the things I want to learn to do. Sometimes I believe what they say. Sometimes I do not.
My name is Melissa and I have some autism. I have a mom, a dad and a brother who love me. I do not think anyone can truly know how I feel. My mother says I was a great gift from God. So at night I pray to God that I will be special, that I will be loved and that someday I will be amazing.