Autism Siblings

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Dear Harrison,

Now I understand why you love U of M so much. It is because you said that it saved our family. Sydney was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 4. I found a wonderful team of doctors at Mott Children’s Hospital. We were able to meet with neurology, developmental pediatricians, social workers, psychiatrists and interns all working to help Sydney.

I’m sorry Harrison that you had to go to all of the therapy sessions and hospital visits.
I’m sorry that Sydney required more attention and you missed out on activities as a child.

I’m sorry that you felt like I only watched over Sydney at night because of her seizures. I hope you remember that I slept in the hallway for one month on the floor so I could be near both of you.

I’m sorry that there were days when we couldn’t leave the house or attend certain events.

I’m sorry that you had to leave St. Hugo, your friends, cousins, church and home in Michigan. I want you to know that your father and I love you very much.

I’m sorry that you think we aren’t Catholic anymore and that you won’t make your Confirmation next year. I know you enjoy going to Love of Christ and hearing Hilary sing. This was the first time in years that we were able to stay for an entire church service anywhere. You had a plan that you and I could go to mass one week and then we could go to Love of Christ as a family the next week. I call that a win-win.🙏

But Harrison I need you to know that I fought for you too. When you were born two months premature, weighing only 2lbs 14oz. I visited you every day in the NICU. I watched you in that incubator praying for the day that I could finally hold you. I sang Blackbird by The Beatles to you and you would kick your tiny leg toward me. I pumped a freezer full of breast milk so the nurses could tube feed you until you could drink from a bottle. I’m sure you probably didn’t want to know that part.😉

Harrison you are a wonderful brother and son. I know you carry the weight of Sydney on your shoulders. God wants you to be happy and to be a kid! I loved watching the way you interacted with the patients at U of M. You have empathy that most adults don’t have. You are making a difference.

We spent many days and nights at U of M. You probably met players from every sport that visited the patients. You make me so proud to be your mother. Remember that you played a vital role in making Sydney who she is today.

Love,
Mommy

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