Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Digital Story "My Brother With Autism" - Danielle Siso

Difficulty: 0

When I think back on memories of my childhood, I can't help but smile when I remember the good times my brother and I shared together.

With a simple two-year gap between us, I would force him into my everyday must of playingpretend.”

Countless hours spent playing house and dressing up as characters I loved. I was convinced he loved it as much as I did.

However, he could never really tell me he didnt. He couldn't tell me anything.


Well..Because until the age of three, my brother never learned how to talk.

When my brother was born, I felt like the role of becoming a big sister was a lot different compared to other little girls becoming big sisters.

I found myself receiving this job of being his interpreter.

It was my job to figure out what he wanted exactly by the sounds of his cries and what he pointed at.

It was my job to explain to others that his unique hand gestures meant that he wanted something as simple as a hug.

Obviously, with my brother showing a lack of verbal skills, it caused my parents to get concerned; however,

they chose to blame it on the fact that they had a very verbal first born as his sister that just wanted to have her voice heard.

He later found a abnormal passion for all things technology.

If you were to give him a name of a computer, he would be able to tell you all the different models,

what features they carry, the stores where you can find them, and the prices they are set at each.

My brother was able to fix a laptop that had been in and out of repair stores and was said to beunfixable,” and getting it back to its normal self wasimpossible”.

My brother did the impossible.

My brother did the unthinkable

My brother is Brilliant

But not the brilliant he has to be in order to meet society's norms.

By the time of his eighth birthday, other problems became more visible.

He didn't seem to process any social cues or understand the emotions of others.

From one conversation he would have with someone, they could tell that something was off.

He started to be known as the kid that wasdifferentat social gatherings, and people would get quiet at the sound of his name.

He seemed like a reserved book nerd, when, in reality, he sucked at anything relating to school.

In March 2012, my brother was at risk of failing the third grade. He wasn't scoring well on his assessments and was expected to not pass his state tests.

A simple equation such as 5 X 2, seemed impossible for my brother to grasp.

He blamed it on him having trouble focusing, but my family couldn't understand how a student that sits in front of the classroom and next to the teacher desk

could ever be so distracted causing him to possibly not go on to the next grade.

But little did we know, he was being put down for the way he was.

For the way he talked. For the way he walked.

For being himself.


My mother one day gets a phone call from my brothers teacher saying that there has been an incident.

During recess a group of fourth graders decided to grab his school bag and flush everything in it down the toilet.

My brother was confused to why they would do such a thing. To why his tears brought them laughter.

What was there to laugh about? What was so funny?

This was just the start of a low point in my brother life. Similar situations continued to happen.

He had even more trouble making friends than he did before, he sat alone at lunch and was by himself at recess.

One time after school, he told me something that to this day, i don't think i can ever forget.

He said, “Danielle, I feel like I don't belong. I feel like Im a puzzle piece trying to fit into the wrong puzzle.”

When I became a Freshman in Highschool, my parents finally grew the courage to get him tested and he was then diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome; a form of Autism.

This diagnosis was an eye opener for my family.

There is no fix. There is no cure. There is no reason to why it happened.

But it was an answer to a question we all had for as long as I can remember. It was an explanation.

However, things didn't get any better right away like we wanted it to.

I remember many times catching my mom crying due to the fact that she felt overwhelmed by her new task of

being a mother of a son with a mental disability and the thought of her son's future.

Questions such aswould he be able to function in the world out there on his own one day?” or

would he ever find a job he's good at or do typical things such as fall in love and have kids?” would go through our minds constantly.

It hurt us to watch him struggle making friends and understanding how to besocial”. We didnt think he would be able to be like the other kids.

But all stories have happy endings.

Im glad to say that I was able to experience my brother blossom into the flower I never expect him to be.

After turning fifteen, my brother was eligible to get his permit and learn how to drive like a typical kid his age

He passed all his state tests with flying colors and was placed in honors level courses; something he didn't think he could do.

He's become a social butterfly with friends that are just like him and understand his struggles.

The way he smiles now is a way i've never seen him smile before .

Hes proven that through his problems, he was still able find himself and become someone he's now proud to be. Something even typical people have trouble doing.

Hes inspired me to never give up and when times seem like they won't get better, if you don't give up, you'll be able to keep going.

And you will succeed

And with that, I wouldn't want my brother to be anyone else.

The reason why i chose this story to tell for this assignment

is because not everyone has a happy ending.

whether its regarding someone with special needs

or someone thats been bullied,

Know the signs.. Look into it and don't give up.

Don't be scared of the answers

Because if you don't take risks, if you don't look into it

the happy ending might not actually happen.

The Description of Digital Story "My Brother With Autism" - Danielle Siso