11 December 2012

Lessons Learned from a Twin

My baby brother is an almost senior at Ashland University.  Tonight he brought a friend from school to visit with us whose twin brother has Down Syndrome.  This guy was was awesome!  He shared how growing up with his brother taught him some wonderful qualities (as I expected), like acceptance, to not judging others, the value of respecting people for their differences, etc. etc.  He also shared that they are 23 years old and that following high school his brother completed a post-secondary college program that taught trade skills and that he has two jobs now, one at Taco Bell (which he loves because he gets to interact with people) and also at a workshop where he helps to make wooden benches.  He told me how his brother loves having a routine and helps out a lot around the house, cleaning and making some of his own meals... his favorite food to cook is omelets!  He also told us about a special olympics type of program called "challenger" in the Massilon / Canton area where he spent a lot of time growing up playing baseball and basketball (he also had AV Canal and the amount of exertion required for the challenger activites was appropriate based upon his heart) and how he's a huge Browns fan now.  I was interested in any tips he'd have for us in raising our other son, Matthew and pretty much, he just suggested that we treat them both the same and bring Matthew up to love, care for and protect his brother.. all things we would have done anyways.  He had such an amazing love for his brother  and it was really encouraging and uplifting to learn about their lives!

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