Tennessee Kindred Stories of Disability

A collection of stories from individuals with disabilities, families, friends, and disability service providers in Tennessee

Jose (16), Autism, Rutherford County

"My brother does get more attention, but it doesn’t like bug me as much because I know he’s special. But when I talk to his teachers they’ll be like, 'Well you have to treat him a little bit more normal because if not, he’s not going to get better.'"

  • A Sibling's Perspective
  • Posted on 3/19/2013


My name is Natalie I’m almost 18. My brother’s name is Jose, he’s 16 and he has autism. It’s different though like now that I’m in high school everybody knows I have a sibling with autism so it’s like, it’s like shocking for everybody. And everybody’s like “Oh wow! What is it like?’ So it’s different, like nobody knows what it’s like. It’s my first year having other people around with brothers and sisters who have a disability so it’s, it’s pretty cool.  And my family, they’re all just like he’s just a kid you know, and I don’t know here in the United States it’s different, because they say in Mexico kids don’t get the same treatment or education that others do. They just stay home and not do anything and here he actually has time to involve and do things that regular kids can do. He has like anger problems so it’s like when he doesn’t want to do something it’s just like, he gets mad about it. Like this weekend, he had a soccer tournament and he all week he made a fuss about it that he didn’t want to do it. Then on Sunday he was just like, they won second place! It was just a really good game. He made three or four goals and it was just all exciting. I don’t know if he is wearing his medal right now but he’s been wearing it all day since yesterday and it’s pretty cool like you get to see him be happy, be mad, be sad and it’s just normal.

Some people do tell my mom like ‘Oh well he’s, he’s not that special he, you don’t have to treat him like that’, because my mom treats him more like a baby than me. So it’s just so like, he does get more attention but it doesn’t like bug me as much because I know he’s special, but when I talk to his teachers or people who can kind of relate they’ll be like, ‘well she has to treat him a little bit more normal because if not, he’s not going to get better.’

My brother went to another school for elementary and middle school, and three years ago, his freshmen year, he started high school with me. At first he didn’t like it. He still doesn’t. When we’re at school, people like hug me and like, tell him ‘Oh your sister is my sister’ and he gets mad about it, so it’s still kind of like a fuss about it, but he likes it. He likes me going to see him and likes me asking him how he is doing. But he doesn’t want me to tell his teachers what we do at home. He doesn’t want me to tell them. And what we do in school, he doesn’t want me to tell my parents, you know, so it’s like I don’t know.

He doesn’t like being with us like if we’re at home, it’s just him by himself in his room. My parents, it’s sometimes me and my parents in the living room, or sometimes my parents in the living room and me in my room. You know but, I have a boyfriend and sometimes he’ll invite me to the movie theater and I’ll invite my brother.  

Sometimes I do get mad at him because he frustrates me. Like on Monday when I was asking his teacher what time the game was, I hugged my brother and he just yelled at me. I got mad because he has done it before, like he yells at me. I told him he shouldn’t do that and we got in the car and he sat beside me and I told him “Get away, get away from me I don’t want to talk to you. You yelled at me, you did this to me, no get away.’ So he told my mom that he wanted to say sorry and stuff. So it’s just like, for me he’s my normal brother. Sometimes I don’t even see him as having autism you know? But then it comes again, and I know he does.

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