Hailey and Kaleb Fetterman: There for Each Other


Hailey Fetterman shares a hug with her younger brother Kaleb.

April is Autism Awareness month and for freshman Hailey Fetterman it really hits home. Hailey’s brother, 11-year old Kaleb, is in fifth grade and was diagnosed with autism at age 7. Even though the journey has been rough, there is nothing Hailey cares about more than her brother.

“We’ve always known that he was different than other kids,” said Hailey. “But he’s very hyper-active. He can never really sit still, and he just blurts out randomly. He can’t really help it.”

Hailey also said, “He really isn’t as different as many people think he is. He likes to be outside and have people to hang out with, just like anyone else his age would.”

Since her brother’s diagnosis her family’s tempers changed. She said, “Now my mom doesn’t lose her temper as easily as she did before we knew and, I know, personally, I used to get mad at him for stuff all the time but now that we know I tend to control myself better with him than I used to.”

Hailey tries her hardest to be there for her brother whenever he needs her. There will be days when he will just have break downs and he’ll need her so she tries to be there for him whenever he needs her, even if it is in school.

She also thinks it is important for young people to know how to interact with someone with autism because they need to know how they are different than some kids but, at the same time they are the same. They need to be able to know how to handle it.

Kaleb said, “Hailey has been able to help me. She helped me when I was little. The hardest thing for me to do in school is history because you have to write a lot. Mr. Conlon usually helps me the most in school by making me laugh whenever things get hard.”

Kaleb’s teacher, Mr. Conlon, said, “Kaleb is a very bright student. If you were to observe a class, you would not notice any differences between Kaleb and the other students. He performs just like the rest of the students in the fifth grade class.”