Autistic siblings - problems
Austin and me with our Grandpa Phil
Problem: You may be jealous of your autistic sibling because they are getting all the attention and you are not getting very much.
Solution: Spend more time with your autistic sibling. Tell your parents you would like more time attention from them. Sometimes parents get so focused on the autistic child that they forget how important it is to spend one-on-one time with you!
Problem: You may feel like you’re going through this alone, or that no one really understands what it’s like to have an autistic sibling.
Solutions: a) Ask your parents to find a local support group for siblings of autistic kids, sometimes available through your regional center. (Here’s one place to look: www.thearc.org/siblingsupport) Or start your own! b) Request an e-pen pal from Autistic Siblings.
Problem: You may get frustrated with your autistic sibling. For example, your autistic sibling may hit you or do something you don’t want them to.
Solution: Be nice to your autistic sibling, and stay calm. Don’t let him upset you. Tell him calmly what he should be doing. Reward him for good behaviors.
Problem: Your autistic sibling wants you to do some things with or to him, but you can’t or don’t want to do them. You just want to be a “normal” kid doing “normal” things with other “normal” kids sometimes!
Example: Your autistic sibling may want you to play a game that’s at home, but the two of you are at a restaurant.
Solution: Calmly explain that you can’t do it.
Problem: Your autistic sibling may break something that was important to you.
Solution: Fix it, get another one, or get over it. “Stuff” is a lot less important than people.
Problem: Your autistic sibling may want to do something you don’t want them to do.
Example: Your autistic sibling may want to clap loudly to some music you’re listening to.
Solution: Calmly tell them to stop.