It’s part of an older brother’s unspoken duty to take care of his younger siblings. Some parents find that they need to explicitly tell their child this, while other children somehow know inherently. The protective instinct tends to surface more strongly when one of the younger siblings has special needs.
Austin is a perfect example of an older brother who knew it was his duty to help out his sibling anyway he could. A lot of older brothers might invest their time in a younger sibling, but when Austin was in fifth grade he chose to go above and beyond everyone’s expectations.
Austin was going to be starting middle school the next year. His younger brother, Chase, was about to start kindergarten.
Austin knew he wasn’t going to be able to take care of his younger brother all by himself. Considering that his brother is much younger and non-verbal, he was concerned about his ability to fend for himself. He decided to call in a favor from one of the friends he’d made while he was a student at the elementary school.
He wrote a letter to his friend Shane, a fourth grader who was at the same school Chase was starting kindergarten at. Shane has Down Syndrome, like Austin’s little brother Chase.
“Dear Shane,” the letter begins. What followed blew his mother away and left her in tears.
Austin wrote a letter to his friend Shane, who also has Down Syndrome, asking him if he would be friends with his little brother.
“I am giving you this letter because I want to ask you a favor. Will you watch out for and be friends with my brother, Chase?” the letter reads in the opening paragraph.
“Chase is going to be in kindergarten next year. He is blessed with Down Syndrome like you. I am asking you to do this because I am going to middle school next year and I will not be at [school name] anymore. You have one more year here and it will be your year with Chase. I hope you get to meet him. He has glasses and looks a lot like you but younger.”
Austin’s mother had no idea that her son was writing this letter; she found out by chance. She cried when she read it.
Even at such a young age, you can see how much love Austin has for his special little brother. Chase is lucky to have a brother who is so concerned, loving, involved, and wants to look out for him.
“You might see him with a Woody from Toy Story doll,” Austin writes in the closing paragraph of his letter. “Even though he can’t talk, I hope you two can be friends like me and you. Will you do that for me? I would like it a lot.
Your Buddy, Austin.”