Siblingz

“I wish I got as much attention as he always does.” “It is not fair that we have to leave the store because she won’t stop screaming at others.” Will I ever be able not to have to watch him when you go outside?”

Multiple frustrations can consume the lives of the siblings of a brother or sister with Autism. There is no single autism therapy or autism treatment that will assist the child enough that the interaction will not affect the daily or even minute-by-minute interactions.

From the time of the initial diagnosis a revelation hits the family, they already have an idea that their lives have been different. With confirmation, there is not question. For brothers and sisters of the child with autism, questions and feelings may lurk inside. They may feel isolated – that their friends may not understand or they have the only family that is different and faces difficulties. It is important that the parents explain that their family is not the only family with difficulties. The children not affected would benefit from learning about autism, to learn to be proud of their sibling. Parents, professionals and advocacy groups may be able to provide this service.

It is important for the siblings to spend time with Mom and Dad outside of the care giving for the brother or sister with autism. It could be taking a minute and have help with homework or talking about the things you would like to do together. Knowing this information can help the mom and dad know how to find the time to spend with the other children. When possible, it is good for the siblings to be able to talk to other children who have a brother or sister with a disability. This will decrease the isolation and know there are others like them.

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