Friday, December 2, 2016

Ten Ways to Win His Heart

My brother in law "Bil", who is developmentally disabled with a condition called autism, is not easy to know.  He doesn't open up easily to people he doesn't know.  It takes him a long time to warm up to someone.  His disability also affects his ability to relate to, and communicate with, people.

Today's prompt on #FridayReflections, is to describe "10 Ways to Win Your Heart". Since this blog is, in part,  about my brother in law and my relationship to him,  I asked myself, how well do I know Bil?  Can I try to answer this prompt for him, since Bil does not go online and does not read blogs?

Let's see how well I do.

Ten Ways to Win Bil's Heart:

1.  Accept him for who he is.  Of course, isn't that true for everyone?

2.  Take him shopping. Bil loves to get out of the house and shop.  He doesn't drive, and doesn't live in walking distance of any shops, so he is dependent on family to do this for him.

3.  Buy him chocolate.  Yes, Bil loves chocolate.

4.  Make him Chicken Divan.  I don't know if this recipe is the one his mother uses, but it is quick and easy.

5.  Let him follow his routines.  Because, for people like Bil, routines give stability in a world he finds hard to understand.

6.  Let him watch The Weather Channel.  Why? Because he loves weather, and he loves weather broadcasters who happen to be female and blonde.

7.  Be a New York Mets fan.  Because he is a Mets fan, too.  He follows their games, memorizes the scores, and will sometimes, out of nowhere, ask a question about if they won the night before.

8.  Buy him a book he likes, or take him to the library.  Science/weather is at the top of his list.

9.  Don't bring him into uncomfortable situations.  If you have to, it's good if there is a TV nearby.  See #6.

10.  Don't force him if it can be avoided.  The problem is, sometimes there are things that have to be done that he may not want to do.  It can be so tricky to talk him into doing something like that, like going to the dentist.  And sometimes, I have told him flat out, none of us always get what we want. The key here, I think, is to "pick your battles".  As I raised a child into adulthood, I know a lot about picking your battles.

I have a long way to go in understanding my brother in law.  But, if we take the time, we may find an interesting person beneath the layers of defensive behavior he has built around himself.

Come link with other participants in #FridayReflections.


  1. That is so sweet. I bet your bil is an interesting young man. Chocolates and books do make anyone feel better don't they? :D Nice of you to write on his behalf.

  2. I have a bit in common with Bil. I'm a chocolate and library lover. Also agree with picking your battles.

  3. Interesting to know about bil. I too love watching weather channels

  4. Some good suggestions there. I think the first point of acceptance is the most poignant of all! Thanks for linking up!

  5. I'm sure many of your points will apply to others too and be useful to caretakers.


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