The Day Creek Howl

A Wonder At Home

It+really+is+a+truly+beautiful+thing...
It really is a truly beautiful thing...

It really is a truly beautiful thing...

Image credited to Asmat K.

Image credited to Asmat K.

It really is a truly beautiful thing...

Nimrah K., Writer

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One day my family and I were eating out. It was a pleasant evening, but something wasn’t right. As we ate, my brother began to yell unnecessarily. He flung his arms up in anger and roared. The restaurant was too loud for him to handle. A baby near our table was bawling, causing my brother to have a fit. Other guests could tolerate the baby, but my brother couldn’t. Of course, no one would stare and frown at a weeping baby, but everyone glared at my brother. Yes, he was an adult – twenty-two years old to be exact. Imagine hearing a twenty-two-year-old man screaming. For my family, this wasn’t odd. My brother is autistic.    

Living with an autistic brother can be tricky. It’s tough to talk to him, as he can’t understand complex sentences. For him, loud noises, such as the cry of a baby, feel like hammers beating into his head. Though I’ve never felt this pain before, I can see it in his eyes. The worst thing about this condition is that my brother doesn’t know how to say “stop” or “that hurts.” Instead, he resorts to shouting and aggression.

But it’s really not that bad. My brother is not retarded. He just thinks differently. His mind is on a higher level. He is unique. Moreover, he has the ability to learn. Despite the fact that my brother may not be able to communicate with others, he can still memorize information. For example, whenever my family and I go to Disneyland, he remembers the exact directions. That, to me, is amazing.

When my sister was in the hospital, fighting leukemia, my brother went through a four-hour surgery to save her, because he was the only match for a bone-marrow transplant. He had to take five shots and a needle in to his chest. The doctors had to make incisions into his back, causing him hip pain and headaches. This surgery was huge for my brother. He didn’t know what was happening to his body or why. All he knew was that it was painful. But he faced it. That was true courage.


Just because my brother has autism, doesn’t mean that he is not human. Sure, he behaves in ways that may be odd, and I understand why people avoid talking to him. The problem is that my brother feels that resistance. He understands that someone is mad at him. He would know if he made someone cry. Moreover, after the passing of my sister, my brother grieved with us. He didn’t cry, but he did express his sorrow through drawings. On his whiteboard, he would draw my sister and call out, “Where is she? Gone.” Ultimately, my brother is a human being just like you, only trapped behind a puzzling disorder.

Recently, my brother graduated from high school and my immediate family was overjoyed, like any family would be. However, when I went to spread the news, none of my cousins seemed impressed. What really angered me was that another family member was graduating at the same time. And all my cousins were ecstatic for her.

That was hurtful. Although going to a prestigious college is quite impressive, something as simple as walking calmly in a public place is a huge achievement for my brother. The fact that his graduation could be ignored was infuriating.In the book Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, August Pullman faces many hardships regarding bullying for issues that were just impossible to resolve. In many cases, the bitter words of his peers took a considerable toll on Auggie, as they do with my brother. Having a perfect face should not determine the type of person someone is. Similarly, my brother’s condition does not disprove his existence in our world. So the next time you see an autistic person, don’t be distant. Go up to them and make a friendly gesture. They understand. Most people define autistic beings as “weirdos” or “retards.” Those “weirdos” are just looking for the love that others often hesitate to give.

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