When Courtney is agitated she is very vocal. It’s a distinct sound and you know aggression will usually follow. That sound immediately puts Alyssa on high alert. She usually immediately stops what she is doing and fearfully searches out me or another trusted adult to protect her from what may follow that agitated sound. Alyssa does this because there are countless times that she has been the target of the aggression that sometimes follows that sound.
It breaks my heart to see Courtney get so agitated at times and it breaks my heart to see Alyssa actually fear her sister during these times. When these moments happen Alyssa usually wants to stay away from her for a little bit. I try to remind myself it’s not her sister she fears though. It’s the behaviors. as Alyssa gets older and grasping a little more of an understanding of Autism, we do try to talk about these moments. We talk about why Courtney may be frustrated and why she gets aggressive.
Today I watched Alyssa go from fear to then ready to help make her happy. She knew Courtney would enjoy playing in the sensory bin that she had out so went out of her comfort zone and asked Courtney to play with her. Sure enough it made Courtney happy.
It’s another example of how Alyssa as a special needs sibling is expected to mature in ways a 5 year old shouldn’t have to. It’s another example of how Alyssa is up for this challenge and handling it beautifully.