We Are America

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Photo ofWesley Desantis-Thompson

“Come clean my kitchen,” my mother yelled to me from downstairs in the living room. It was after dinner on a Friday night, and me and my brother were asked to do our chores that we are supposed to do after every meal. I was assigned to clean the dinner table and sweep or vacuum the floor around where I eat dinner, and my brother’s chore was to take care of the dishes. These chores were very important to the both of us and there would be consequences coming our way if these chores were held off, or not done properly. This puts a lot of pressure on the both of us to do this quickly and properly, and for a guy like me, it feels tough to do.

It all started when I was 12 years old. My mother was tired of doing the chores around the house and needed both me and my brother to do something around the house. Because I have struggled with autism, it has been very difficult for me to process what is going on. 

“Wesley, you are in charge of cleaning up the kitchen after every meal, and you will lose all of your electronics if I have to remind you at all.” I felt like this would be very tough for me because I’ve struggled with asking for help when I need it. I’ve been working on getting help when I need it, but have continued to lose the battle. I felt like the lack of support and motivation that I have been getting has led me to being yelled at a lot because of the fact that the kitchen was always dirty.

I went down to do my chores, and I was given some help when I needed it. However, eventually my mom wanted me to understand everything that I needed to do by myself. I was on my own cleaning, and eventually I got stuck. I asked for help, and my mother came over and corrected my question and I got back to work. 

My mom has been motivating me to do all this stuff since I was a young boy, and now came the big test. I knew I wasn’t going to be given a lot of motivation, and so I understood that this would determine how helpful my mother would be. I did the chore well and my parents were very happy.

This chore eventually became a habit to me and my parents would always offer help whenever I would need it. Whenever my mother says “Come clean,” it just automatically pops in my head, and doing it all the time would also make it much simpler to do.

Now, me and my brother are used to the chores that we do every day, and the level of importance and responsibility that comes with it. We understand that there are consequences coming our way if we don’t do them right or if we forget to do it. The fact that I was given motivation and help, I would have to consider my mom, “a superhero,” and that would make it a reason why she would be super important to my life.

© Wesley Desantis-Thompson. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.