My only birthday wish is to help those with autism
THE birthday wish list of an average young woman might contain make-up, CDs and clothes, but all this kind-hearted sister has asked for is donations for a charity to help her little brother.
Katherine Stoelwinder, 18, is asking for donations in lieu of presents in a bid to raise £190 for Research Autism because her nine-year-old brother, Adam, has the condition.
A young carer for Adam, Katherine believes not enough is known about the behavioural disorder that makes life difficult for her brother, as well as her and mum Angela, of Byland Grove.
She said: "Living with Adam can be hard, especially when we are out, because people don't know a lot about autism, they just think he is being naughty, which obviously he is not.
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"When I hear people talking about people with autism it can be hard because I think, yeah Adam does that but he also does a lot more. Autistic isn't all he is.
"There needs to be a deeper understanding and awareness of autism and if there were more funds raised maybe that would happen."
Autism means Adam, who recently started at Cambridge Park Special School, finds it difficult to cope in social situations, says inappropriate things and struggles to understand other people's emotions.
So severe is his autism a simple trip to the supermarket is a no-go because his hearing and sight is so sensitive the bright lights and the buzzing of freezers causes him distress.
But although life with Adam can be testing, Katherine wouldn't change her brother and loves him just the way he is.
Now she hopes other people will support her by either donating money to the cause or buying one of her delicious cakes and chocolates which will be on sale at Be Delightful in Cromwell Road, Grimsby, on Saturday from 1pm.
She added: "If I managed to raise £190 I would feel I have done something for my brother and for other people in similar situations.
"We have been through it, we know how hard dealing with it can be and if we can make another person's journey through it a little easier it will be worth it.
"At times living with Adam has been testing but we love each other and I want to help him."
To help Katherine reach her fundraising goal, visit http://justgiving.com/happybirthdaykatherine