World Autistic Day was celebrated on the 2nd of April to raise awareness and create conversations for people living with autism around the globe.
In celebration of this day, Temi Otedola published an article on her blog, titled, “My Story and Living with Autism” In the article, Temi talks about her brother, Fewa, who is autistic and the challenges of having an autistic sibling.
For Temi Otedola, raising awareness is not the only goal but understanding, and even more important is acceptance.
Read excerpts from her piece below
Every day, I see him becoming more independent. Our relationship is becoming less one-sided; I can truly say that we are friends. Fewa doesn’t need anyone’s sympathy. He is the most genuine and caring person I know. This is probably why I have never seen Fewa’s autism as necessarily and totally negative, it is a unique characteristic that adds to the complexity of the person that he is.
I am not naïve or unrealistic. I certainly have some gnawing worries about the future. Fewa will always need support of some kind. At age sixteen he still requires 24 hour help. I would say that the biggest misconception about autism is that people who have it are socially inept geniuses – Rain man, anyone? Yes, that is true for some autistic people, but there is a reason the official term is “autism spectrum disorder”. It is a spectrum, and it can range from children who are not able to speak at all to children who can go to normal schools.
On coping with Fewa in the future without her parents
No matter what I do, I need to build my life with Fewa in mind. My parents won’t be around forever, and his care and well-being will become the responsibility of me and my sisters. It is true that consideration for Fewa will always affect the decisions I make in my life. Despite this, Fewa is by no means a burden. These worries do not reduce the immense love I have for my brother who has brought so much joy and shown me the purest form of love. To quote The Bard, “Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.” It is Fewa’s unconditional love that has shaped me into the woman I am today – a sister, a teacher, a carer and a best friend.
Head over to JTOFashion to read her full piece