My name is Aline, and I am a young caregiver.
I care for my younger brother, who has autism. I care for him by looking out for him when my mom is doing other things, helping him calm his emotions and playing with him as he doesn’t have many friends.
I love my brother and I am so grateful for him. A good day spent caring for him involves laughing, cuddling and playing. On a tough day, caring for him can be difficult and emotional. I don’t like cleaning up his mess and I feel sad and frustrated when he’s agitated and can’t communicate his feelings. I cuddle him or give him his sensory toys to help him, but it doesn’t always work. As a result, I sometimes get upset at him when I don’t mean to. That makes me very sad.
Young Caregivers Association helps me a lot. It gives me hope and it helps me find ways to manage the stress I sometimes feel. It also gives me a space where I can meet other kids who care for someone at home. It helps me understand that I am not alone.
Before I started going to Powerhouse I didn’t know how to deal with my stress and frustration. I wasn’t always feeling well, I could feel sad, and didn’t always care well for my brother. Going to Powerhouse has helped me a lot. It has given me tips to manage stress, take my sadness away, and calms me down. For example, Powerhouse helped me build a scream box that I can scream into when I feel frustrated – and no one can hear it! It makes me feel super great. I don’t know what I would do without it!
I hope to work for Young Caregivers Association one day so that I can help other young caregivers get the support they need and raise awareness of all the fun programmes they offer to young caregivers.
“Young Caregivers Association helps me a lot. It has taught me how to deal with stressful situations”
– Aline, 9 Years Old, Caring for her brother