She probably has benefited in some ways because he kind of keeps himself to himself most of the time or he kind of likes quite a bit of time on his own and that, she kind of, most probably over her life has got more attention in some respects, but in other ways has got less because probably the more emotional attention goes to her brother.
She is incredibly protective of him at school. She looks after him, she is like another mother to him in a lot of ways and I am not sure if that is a good or a bad thing. If things are not going well particularly on a morning when I am struggling to get him focused to get him to school she will quite often intervene which quite often makes things worse and then she gets into bother for making things worse. But she is just trying to be helpful and she is just trying to find strategies for dealing with things. She is, she is very she is incredibly protective of him, and she just really wants to help him.
She has only found out fairly recently about his diagnosis which was, it took me a long time to work myself to a position where I thought I could tell her. She took it all very, very well. She was very mature about it in lots of ways. She found it hard to understand the concept of autism. She found it very hard to understand what it meant for her and she had like, the first couple of days, she kept saying, “I don’t think he has got it.” And then she had a tearful… she had been away at her dad’s for a few days and on the Friday night when she came back she had quite a tearful time on the Friday night. She was crying. And I kept saying what you know, why and all this and partly I think it was while she had been away she had been kind of frightened that she was going to get it somehow or it was going to somehow, it was going to affect her, she was going to somehow get it and I said, “No, it is not like that,” and explained it.
And, but what she found really hard was she couldn’t understand why a doctor couldn’t do something or give him tablets or something couldn’t be done to make him better. She couldn’t quite twig to that at first. Then she came to a family day for Northern Partners in Policy Making course that I have been on and she met some of the other mothers who have got children with autism and she found that really helpful to talk to them and that I think really helped her to come to terms with it more.
But generally speaking I think she just thinks he is an irritating little brother and although she loves him to bits and is really proud of the different things that he has done, she just gets annoyed sometimes with him. And – but she also would help him as well and she does help him. And yes, she is very, very good with him generally speaking and yes, she has been very supportive towards me as well. Yes.