Jo Worgan column: Stephen’s help for autistic brother Tom is so very special

Guardian columnist Jo Worgan
Guardian columnist Jo Worgan
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My son Stephen is very special, he is a star.

This week he did something for Tom that showed just how very special, understanding and caring he is.

We had made plans for the weekend to go with grandparents to visit The Aquarium of the Lakes.

I discussed with Stephen and Tom how we were going to get there and what we would do, mainly to prepare Tom in advance for the day trip out.

I told them that we would drive to the ferry and then get a big boat to the aquarium. We would then get the ferry back to the car. Stephen repeated this several times to Tom.

The following morning while eating breakfast with Stephen, Tom had left for school; I said that I had put in a request to Tom’s school to send us some PECS to use on his visualtimetable for our trip at the weekend.

Stephen remarked very seriously that this was a ‘good idea mum.’

I didn’t think any more about it and no more was mentioned about the aquarium.

That same evening I was in the kitchen cooking tea while Tom was sat playing on the iPad.

Stephen came into the kitchen and asked if he could have a big piece of paper, so I went and found him one.

I asked him what he was going to draw and he just said, ‘a picture for Tom’.

So I carried on cooking tea. After ten minutes I saw Stephen get up from the table and carry the sheet of paper to Tom where he was sitting on the couch.

Then I heard him say “Tom, Tom look, this is what we are going to do on Sunday. Car to boat, then aquarium, then boat to car.”

He haddrawn Tom a visual timetable! My heart lurched. I had to hide in the kitchen for a few minutes as ahuge lump had formed in my throat.

After a few minutes had passed Stephen came into the kitchen carrying his piece of paper and repeated to me what he had told Tom. stroked his hair andtold him what a very special little boy he is and that Tom is very lucky to have a big brother like him.He is indeed very special. God bless my little dinosaur explorer.