Rose Arezzini remembers that as early as 4 years old, she served as an advocate for her older brother Karl, who has autism.
One day, Karl accompanied Rose and their mother, Lynn Arezzini, in a women’s locker room so they could change for swimming lessons. A woman looked at Karl, who was 8 at the time, and asked, “Isn’t he a little old to be in here with you?”
Rose didn’t hesitate to stick up for Karl.
“I said, ‘Well, you know, it’s really hard (for) my brother and my mom. She has to take care of him, she has to watch him, she has to bathe him sometimes, and it’s really hard,'” Rose recalls. “Then, I look her right in the eye, and I remember patting her shoulder and saying, ‘Are you allergic to autism?'”
Now 14, Rose is still just as chatty, and has a maturity that reflects growing up with a sibling with a disability.
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