My brother, Scott, has a severe version of Cerebral Palsy. As a result, Scott cannot walk, and requires a wheelchair for mobility. Unfortunately, there are many other families that are affected by this disorder.
Throughout Scott’s life, he has gone to schools that specialize in education for kids with severe disabilities. His most recent school is Matheny, which is where he went ever since he was eleven years old. We were extremely lucky to be able to board Scott there, since we were on a waiting list for over seven years! I learned there was such a long wait because of how many families also needed to board their children there too. We were so grateful Scott got into Matheny because there are many families who have children with disabilities who do not have a place to stay where they can also receive a good quality education and a place to stay.
We had talked about Scott going to Matheny as a boarding school for a little over a year, but it didn’t seem real to me until a week before he actually moved out. He and I were so close that I couldn’t imagine him ever leaving. I was sad at first, because my brother was leaving and I wouldn’t see him for weeks at a time. I knew that the teachers took exceptionally good care of the students, but the first few days without him made me miss him. For a few weeks it still felt weird not hearing his laughter or cries of joy, at our house, but I knew that it would be heard throughout Matheny.
It was only until my first visit that I felt better. When we went to see him, we found Scott with his friends watching a movie, and we stayed and played with him for a bit. I felt relieved knowing that Scott was having a good time at Matheny. As we walked around with him, we knew a lot of people there, but I didn’t realize just how many people at Matheny loved and knew Scott. Everywhere we went, people were saying hi, and hugging him or playing with him. It made me glad that he wasn’t alone, even though I knew he was had friends there.
My school has a Matheny Club, and my peers and I will go to Matheny to play with the kids who board there. Sometimes we play games, go for walks, or make art with them. I was excited to go before Scott moved into Matheny, but I was even more excited after he went. I saw him almost every other week on Matheny Club trips, and we got to see him every time we went. It was so great to see the smile he put on everyone’s face, as well as the smile everyone put on his.
Although I was sad for the first few weeks after my brother moved out, I was happy to know that he is loved at Matheny. It came as well no surprise when I saw how many friends Scott had, because he is the purest form of love and joy that I know. It is always great when he is home, but I know he is having a wonderful time at school. Scott is more than just a kid with a disability. He is a son, a nephew, a cousin, a student, a drum player, an artist, and all around the best brother I could ever ask for.
This “Siblings Flaunt” has been published in partnership with the fabulously flaunting organization, Siblings with a Mission.