During our stay in Boston, we spoke with a young man who had just finished his last days of fourth grade. Matthew, whose 6-year-old brother has epilepsy, told us all about his life as an older sibling to his brother. He spoke with perspective, choosing his words wisely and carefully to depict his memories and emotions accurately. Like many of the other younger interviewees that we have met with, Matthew was yet another “old soul,” who appeared much more mature than many of the men that I have met in college. In the clip below, he describes his relationship with his younger brother who is minimally verbal and suffers from many seizures a week.
Matthew also illustrated for us how having a brother like his affects the entire family and its evolving dynamic. We haven’t spoken with too many children who have been able to so easily put into words the way their sibling changes the “typical” family experience. Below, he describes how strenuous an average day can be.
Like many other sibs along the road, he delves himself into his schoolwork. “I dread the last day [of school]” he told us with a sincere smile. He also shared that one of the reasons he loves school so much is because he likes “getting away from the hecticisty that is [his] house.” Keep in mind, Matthew has not even started middle school yet.
In this last clip, Matthew speaks about how his younger brother has truly affected his life.
Thanks for talking with us, Matthew!