Monday, February 4, 2008


I have talked before about my love for the special needs community..This man is the reason I am this way..This is my goofy yet loveable brother, Jimbo..He is 36 years old and autistic. Jimbo is nonverbal, meaning he cannot verbalize. he can communicate with sounds that may sound close to what hes trying to say but thats about it..Growing up, I thought everyone had a brother like Jimbo..I remeber telling some boy about my brother..I was about 7 or 8..I said " my brother is autistic." He asked " So, does he DRAW really well?" I remember thinking.. um no stupid, hes AUtistic..Not ARtistic..Geez.. Dont you understand? But most people growing up didnt understand.. Some tried to but others thought he was just WEIRD..Well, to be honest , he WAS.. lol I am saying that as a sister who loves him could.. He would be "Jimbo" around us but when he got around his peers, hed become very nervous and just look weird..Id look at him and say " Jimbo, stop acting autistic" lol..Some people would say I was mean to him.. I was just treating him like any sister would treat her brother..He was just autistic.. I dont know how that would make any difference how he should be treated? Like I said, I thought everyone had a brother like him..

He was THE CUTEST little boy..I remember him being so small that I could "fireman's carry" him over my shoulder..Geez.. Those days are LONG GONE!! Hes about 6'2 now..I dont think I will be carrying him over my shoulder anymore! As if hed let me now.. He has developed an interesting personality to tell ya the truth! Growing up, Jimbo was a neat kid.. He always knew JUST WHEN to scratch his butt, pick his nose or come out of the bathroom PULLING HIS PANTS up when it would embarrass me the most..Usually it was when I was around friends or out in public.. My mother says she remembers very well us in Food World ( we all went as a family on Friday nights, after wed go out to eat, you know, Friday nite thing!) and my brother was picking his nose, as most people do when their nose is bothering him..Difference is , we all do it in hiding.. My brother didnt care who saw him.. He was autistic! That gave him special priviliges! Anyway, I SHREIKED "JIMBO! Stop picking your nose! This isnt an AUBURN FOOTBALL GAME!".. HAHA..I grew up an Alabama Fan.. My poor mother.. I can imagine the embarrassment we ALL caused her..

I have many fond memories of Jimbo..I remember spiking his hair and turning his collar up on his ACID WASHED jean jacket and driving him around the city BLARING Motley Crue out of the car..Hey, we ARE children of the 80s yanno..Jimbo still gets a smile on his face when we hear a Motley Crue song! He always knew I had his back..He trusted me.. When he was 18, he went to this school called " Allen Cott"..I ended up getting a job there aa a Teachers Aide, working with the really young kids..Id go visit Jimbo in his classroom..Seems his teachers had the same attitude with him as I did and everytime Id come in the room , theyd say "Hey, Jimbo, Look! Its your STUPID SISTER" And they would use sign language for STUPID SISTER..It was SOOOO FUNNY! My brother would sign and say "STUPID SISTER" along with them too..He loved being able to pick on me..Guess it all came full circle..:)

My middle son, Tyler, who is NOT autistic reminds me of Jimbo..Of course he doesnt do autistic things like Jimbo because he isnt.. He sounds JUST LIKE Jimbo..Jimbo does this little laugh that lets you know he thinks something is funny..Tyler sounds EXACTLY like him..One day, I told him to do it for my mom and sister and I didnt say anything thing..They freaked out at how much he sounded like Jimbo..Now we make Tyler do his imitation.. Poor guy.. Anyway, I am sure I will have more Jimbo Stories..I thought Id start it out with this.. :)


Leigh said...

Your love and devotion is apparent. You are both very lucky!

Deedra said...

Jimbo sounds like a very special person. You are very lucky and blessed to have him in your life.

Michelle said...

Yall are so sweet! I feel VERY BLESSED to have him in my life.. I have always felt that people like my brother are sent to teach everyone TOLERANCE..If you learn to take people for who they really are, you will be fine..I know some people have difficulty with people like him..But, some still try to understand..The ones who dont are the ones who need him to learn..JMO :)