Out Of The Mouths Of Babes And Sucklings.
At Sentinel Celts,we are always happy to receive articles from our members. They don’t have to be about Celtic,and this one isn’t. But it is relevant nevertheless,especially the day after Fathers Day-I’ll let FAN-A-TIC explain why that is so.
This is an essay my stepdaughter Maya wrote in 2011 pertaining to an event in her life and her recollection of said event.
In light of the many recent illnesses in families on the blog and the empathy shown,I thought this child’s recollection was worthy,and I wanted to share with my Celtic family on this blog.
Maya is now 20 but wrote this when she was eleven.
She is a big Tim courtesy of me taking her to The NYCSC in the Parlour.
“QUACK!” Is the sound I hear waking up.It’s not a duck, it’s my little brother Rohan.He is just a couple of months old.but whenever he spots a duck outside of his window, he’ll be quacking for a couple of minutes.
Quack was one of the handful words he knew as a baby (if you consider quack to be a word.) At one point i guess he opened his hand, and the words slipped out.
I didn’t understand it when it happened. I was only seven,I didn’t know what autism was, nor did I know why my little brother, approaching the age of two had it. It didn’t make a difference to me. I recall that what I saw was that Rohan stopped calling me by my name, and he stopped quacking at the ducks. Somehow I missed the quacking, I found it so annoying when he did it, but was so heartbroken when he stopped.
Soon all these women started coming to our house. I didn’t know who they were or what they did, but they were very nice to me. I called them “teacher-doctors”. None of them would read me books and none of them wanted to give me a checkup. They were always with Rohan. They didn’t write letters on boards for Rohan,and they didn’t tap him on the knee to see if he’d kick. I found that they didn’t do anything a doctor/teacher should do. I convinced myself that they’d do all those things when he got older.”He’s only two…he’s only two”I’d tell myself.
It took me a year to understand that the teacher-doctors were therapists.And to understand my brother wouldn’t quack at the ducks for a while.
I remember my mom and dad crying, and my brother questioning Autism.I thought it was a fun word.Of course later on I learned it wasn’t.
I know there was a big gap between my parents getting a divorce and Rohan being diagnosed with autism, but it’s all a blur for me. I almost remember the events as if they happened on the same night. Even though my parents decided to get a divorce months before Rohans diagnosis. At first my parent’s divorce was a 1000x worse than Rohans autism for me, because I knew what a divorce meant.mIt meant my dad wouldn’t drive me to school in the morning,and my mom wouldn’t drive me back from school, it meant I wouldn’t wake up to green walls that my mom had painted for me, and it meant I’d have two addresses in the phone book next year.
One day, the summer before 3rd grade i remember asking my mom if I could go to a friends house,”Maya love we can’t go today,Rohan has speech in Ridgefield today”she replied. I couldn’t believe it,I had been the youngest child for nearly six years and was used to getting my way. I wouldn’t say I was a brat, but i was certainly spoiled.That was the moment I noticed the world didn’t revolve around me.After I noticed that my little brother was the one who NEEDED the most attention I grew curious as to the specific disadvantages of my brothers disorder. I discovered things that seemed horrifying to me at the time, but as I got more mature I would understand more and more.
Rohan has taught me so much about myself and the world.I hope and pray that he will understand how much he means to me. I am honored to be his older sister, very very honored.
I encourage everyone to take a look at themselves after reading this, and be grateful for what you have. You have the knowledge many people would kill for, never ever forget that and remember to put it to good use.
Rohan is now a healthy six year old boy. He has made tremendous progress since the May of 2007. He has gained many words back, even though he never lost one of his words”NO!” He attends the same speech therapist and has a few other therapies.
I’m still waiting for the day that I’ll wake up to that one word…QUACK.
Many thanks for that,FAN-A-TIC. A fantastic piece in its own right,and all the more for being written by an 11yo. I am always grateful for my health,that’s for sure,a thing we so often take for granted. If I ever make it to New York,I’ll make sure I thank Maya personally as we watch our team in The Parlour.