My Awesome Brother
In our family’s genetic lottery, I got the sexy legs, and my little brother got the brains.
The weird thing is, all his life, a lot of people have assumed he’s stupid. He has challenges when it comes to reading and writing, he didn’t finish high school, and although he is undiagnosed, he has the classic social difficulties of autism. (And I’m 97% sure he’s Aspie)
The thing is though, the little bugger is a genius. Like, Einstein-on-an-espresso-drip smart.
His hobby is computer animation, and some of the stuff he does is almost movie quality. Seriously, it looks like its straight out of Finding Nemo or Happy Feet. And he’s self-taught; he wanted to do it, so he sat down and learned how from Google and youtube. He has this amazing ability to improvise and problem solve in ways that just blow my mind. Where I’d be totally stumped, he finds a way.
When he did a TAFE course, he missed most of his classes, slept through the ones he made it to, and still got a 97%. He knew more about the subject than the teacher did.
He’s easily skilled enough to work at a computer graphics company… but he’s not a Year 12 or University graduate, he has trouble finding motivation, and his social challenges not only make it hard for him to go out and search for a job, but also set him up to get shafted at the interview stage.
It’s just so easy for people to dismiss him based on first impressions; on grammatical mistakes, body language, or qualifications. Yet none of these things do him justice. He’s a textbook example of a remarkably intelligent and talented person on the spectrum who has so much to offer, but is let down by a system where presentation so often matters more than ability.
See, people tend to think I’m smart just cos I’m somewhat articulate on paper. But there are lots of different kinds of intelligence. Some are just easier to showcase than others. My brother’s a genius, but he’s an unconventional kind of genius. I may be able to string together words in a fancy way, but when I need tech support, or just help fixing the washing machine or getting the f—ing printer to work, (I swear those contraptions are controlled by Skynet and sit around all day calculating ways to screw over their human overlords) it’s the bro who bails me out.
Sometimes the trickiest thing is convincing him that’s he’s smart. He’s been judged as stupid so many times that it’s often like he believes it. That’s the programming power of bullying; if you’re told something over and over again your whole life, it can sink it through sheer repetition. Now, I doubt he’ll read this blog entry, but I intend to use similar repetition to always remind the little bastard that he’s awesome.