The Best Big Brother, Despite My Struggles With Autism

The past month has been a busy one for our family. Not only did we welcome our newest little boy, Owen Sawyer into the Tschikof family, but we also celebrated Jaxon’s eighth birthday, and moved across the United States. Moving is nothing new for us…the military has made sure my boys are very open minded to change, and it would appear that Owen will be just as well rounded. My husband will be deployed for a few months so I will be writing to you from our hometown in Colorado as a single military mother of THREE!  


Introducing a new baby into your family can be tough and challenging on any sibling, and I was very anxious to see how my boys were going to handle our new addition. Carter is now the middle child, and he has always been our “handful” child anyway. He has adjusted very well and is very proud of his baby brother. Jaxon (diagnosed with ASD 5 years ago) has welcomed Owen into our family with open arms and a wide open heart. Jaxon loves his baby brother more than I could have imagined and he is very happy to help out whenever I need him. I would almost go as far as saying that becoming a big brother (at this age) has been an encouragement to his recovery.


All throughout my pregnancy I would show Jaxon pictures of how big the baby was, and the various stages of development. We would talk about the baby, the various changes that he would bring to our family, and the different things Jaxon could do to help out and be a good big brother.  I feel like this was a very important part of helping Jaxon to accept the changes that would eventually turn his world upside down.  Jaxon met Owen a short while after he was born and the smile on his face showed me that although he might be a little different in so many ways, the love and pride in his heart proved to me yet again, that he is more normal than I remember to give him credit for from time to time. 


Owen is just a month old now, and every day I see Jaxon bond with him more and more. Jaxon talks constantly about his baby brother to anyone who will listen. Although he asked my husband “why does mommy love Owen more than me” about 10 days post delivery (which turned out to be a very good mother/son conversation starter), he has adapted very well to the multiple“ wait just a second, honey”…and…”I will get it for you as soon as I finish feeding the baby”…comments. Jaxon has grown and matured in many different ways since becoming a big brother. It melts my heart to hear Jaxon talk about all the things he wants to teach Owen. There is no better way to build his self esteem than for him to feel needed and appreciated by his baby brother. Jaxon has helped feed Owen, burp him, change his diaper and clothes, and hold him and sing to him when he is crying. It is quite possible that I am luckiest mother in the world, and I could not be more proud of how far Jaxon has come, and I am very excited to think of the possibilities that lie ahead for him! 


Thank you for being patient with me while I was “unavailable” to bring you new and exciting information.  I look forward to sharing many interesting articles in the next few months!  For now, I just wanted to say a big…Welcome to the world Owen Sawyer Tschikof!


My name is Dr. Jill Tschikof; I am the mother of three, and a military spouse.  We have had struggles and successes raising a child with Autism while serving in the military and I hope that my future stories will act as a form of guidance for others navigating this same path.  You can find my personal blog at; I hope that you will email me if you have any questions. 


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