Home > In Their Own Words > In Their Own Words – Not Your Average Joy Ride

In Their Own Words – Not Your Average Joy Ride

This “In Their Own Words,” is written by Jo Ashline. This post is about her younger son’s relationship with his older brother, who has severe autism.

will always
in the driver’s seat
the steering wheel steady in your hands
chosen without your consent
but you
honor your duties
steering with integrity

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your passenger
counting on your guidance
as you commandeer
his safe arrival
something you promise
just out of
purity of your

You are
going somewhere
it only matters
that you go
the wind
blowing through
the sun
behind you
the misunderstood world
at your fingertips

Your heart
outgrew your
the day you took his hand in yours
and helped him buckle
his seatbelt

You head towards
a place
where love
everyday expectations
the journey
only because
wouldn’t go

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A marvelous
everyday heroes
kicking up dirt
they drive

is not
your average

“In Their Own Words” is a series within the Autism Speaks blog which shares the voices of people who have autism, as well as their loved ones. If you have a story you wish to share about your personal experience with autism, please send it to editors@autismspeaks.org. Autism Speaks reserves the right to edit contributions for space, style and content. Because of the volume of submissions, not all can be published on the site.

  1. odie ernest
    October 1, 2010 at 11:30 am

    That was beautiful.i have a 14 year old daughter who is gifte&talented who looks over her 7 ,high function austic sister to shield from the ” mean” people.But the funny part is that the 7 year old protects her 5 year old from harm.we wonder what will happen when the 7 year turns 16 and the 5 turns 14 ,when go driving together.will one drive and the other navigate?i believe that without family especially sibs

  2. odie ernest
    October 1, 2010 at 11:32 am

    sorry.without family support even high fuction austics will not thrive.

    • Tarrah
      October 1, 2010 at 1:43 pm


      • Laura
        October 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm

        Yes, they can thrive. With the right supports in place, anything is possible. Remain positive.

  3. Jessica Vennel
    October 1, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Truly beautiful

  4. Grapes
    October 1, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I wept buckets!

    You have beautiful sons!

    • Zana
      October 2, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      I could not even read this aloud without weeping…thanks for sharing

  5. alissa
    October 1, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I have never in my life read something so close to my heart. My four year old is PDD and my 2 year old is typical. They are each others world, they are best friends.

    • Mindy
      October 2, 2010 at 9:33 am

      My four year old son is PDD as well and my 18 month old is typical also. The only difference is that the 4 year old rejects the little one more than I am comfortable with. I hope this changes. You’re very blessed they love one another so much.

  6. October 1, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    omg im cryin so much that was just so beautifull i ave a 16 year old who is neuro typical and a 6 year old who is autistic and they really dont like each other the 16 year old thinks his brother is a pest u ave two presious kids like i ave two but for differnt reasons i think

  7. Mary
    October 1, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    WOW!!!!!!!! I love this! Thank you! you are doing an amazing job with your children

  8. Szwagier
    October 1, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    gorgeous children…im certain they got that from their aunt…Jo, you are painfully talented, not to mention an extraordinary mentor to these little guys. keep doing what youre doing…kocham!!

  9. Loren
    October 1, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Truly beautiful.

  10. Patti
    October 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    This is such a beautiful poem. I have always said my special daughter (20) is Gods gift to her brother (21) and sister (17). Because of their sister, they are the most loving, compassionate, non-judgemental people. Life is not always easy for them but they have their sister to help them keep things in perspective.

  11. October 1, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    I read this and it touched me.For my son is autistic as well as blind. And it is that way with my daughters one a year older the other a year younger then him. They are always looking out for him and helping him. Though he is much bigger in many ways and stronger then them. He is their brother and will stand for him in every way. You have two beautiful boys God Bless you’s.

  12. odie ernest
    October 1, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Yes,I do agree with you ,laura.my daughter has gone from moderate austic to residual with lots of help.but I do not let up with the school.I am always asking the why.i tell them” because we worked too hard to get her to this point.I feel the future is very bright for daughter,who wants to be an animal researcher.

  13. Kerry
    October 1, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    so beautiful. my 5year old son has autism and is sandwiched between his 7year old and 2year old brothers. even at 1 1/2, we started noticing the ‘baby’ taking care of his big brother. thank you for writing this…

  14. jo
    October 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Thank you everyone! I feel so blessed to be their mommy; they have taught me so much about love, compassion, patience…..

    I also blog about our lives on http://www.asweetdoseoftruth.blogspot, as well as OCFamily.com (Autism in the OC). I am Jomamma02 on twitter.

    Thanks again for reading my poem!

  15. carol
    October 1, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    beautiful !

  16. Mindy
    October 2, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I too have an older son with Autisim who has a younger brother. I cried at the familiar feelings your poem conjured up within me. Currently my older son is rejecting the younger one. I do hope this changes. I want to see the beauty of two amazing little people bond through family experiences. Thank you for sharing, it was beautiful.

  17. October 2, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Beautifully written … we also have 2 sons, the older with autism
    Mark Zulewski

  18. Alma
    October 2, 2010 at 11:21 am

    This poem is incredible, I have two boys, the younger had PDD and his older brother always helping him in every way. I couldn’t help not crying because it remains me of my two little ones, my boys are ten months apart there three and four years old, this poem is heart touching, God bless you.

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