Your dad and I wanted to let you know how unbelievably proud we are of you. You are the most amazing little four year old girl. We wanted to write you this letter because we know this journey has not been easy for you. We are sure, at times, you feel left out. A lot of our life right now is consumed with Kate's therapies, treatments and appointments. You sit quietly and colour in your books while we discuss options and interventions. You wait patiently while we go to, what must seem like, endless sessions and meetings. Through it all, you adore your sister. You never lose patience with her. You don't blame her for taking up so much of our time and attention. We are so grateful that Kate has you. We haven't told you that Kate has autism or that Kate is a little different. I am afraid for the day when you begin to notice on your own. Kate is two and half now and as she grows bigger the behaviours associated with her autism stand out more and more. It is becoming harder and harder to dismiss some of the behaviours as typical for a baby as she grows into a little girl. Your dad and I watch you try and communicate with Kate and you are so patient and sweet. She is saying a lot more lately and you understand her as well as anyone. You answer for her when you think she needs the help. You let her try to speak and you coach her when you think she can come up with the words with a little help. Her funny little quirks make you smile. You are her biggest fan and there is not doubt she cherishes you. We know you will always love your sister and she you, but we wanted to let you know that there will be some days when it is really hard to be Kate's older sister. There are some people in the world that are mean and cruel because they don't understand that it is ok to be different. These people might pick on Kate. They may even pick on you for being her sister. These people may point out the funny things that Kate does and this might embarrass you. Sometimes Kate may do things that bother you, or make you angry. We want you to know that it is ok to be frustrated and sad. We can work through it together. We have noticed lately that you are becoming more and more shy. The more attention Kate draws to us the more you hide away. Your dad and I understand that you are trying to work your way though this too. We will always be there to help you deal with these issues. Sometimes you might need some quiet time alone with just daddy and me and I promise we will make sure this happens. You are so important to us. You are so incredibly kind and smart. There are no words for how much you mean to us. We know you will be brave and always love your sister as unconditionally as you do now. We love you Grace. Mommy and Daddy xxoo
Happy Mail to:
27 Wellington Row
Saint John, NB
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Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)