Except Me: Award-winning radio piece about a brother with autism

I love making homemade bread. Kneading can get tedious though, so I usually listen to the radio during that part of the process. On Thursday morning, while preparing a loaf to bring to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving, I switched on National Public Radio.

Lucky me — they were playing all the winners of the Third Coast Festival’s Richard H. Driehaus Foundation radio essay awards! I happened to hear the “Best New Artist” winner’s essay — Except Me — about a teenager who has a little brother with autism.

Andrew Skillings is 11 now, but he was first diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism, when he was just two. Andrew’s challenges impact the whole family, especially his older sister Marissa, who struggles to find normalcy in a life that revolves around her disabled little brother.

One of my favorite lines from the essay is this: “I don’t hate my brother — I’d kill for him. But there are times I’d like to kill him, too!” Except Me is a very honest — and sweet — piece of work. If you missed hearing it Thursday, you can still hear this award-winning essay online.

I was so captivated by the piece that I ended up kneading my bread twice as long as usual!


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  1. Mike Knezovich Says:

    Wow. This isn’t the “Hallmark” story that everyone might want to hear, but it’s truthful and terrific. And heartwarming in its own frank way.