May 2nd is National Brothers & Sisters Day, and many of us have a brother or sisters in the family. 89% of Americans have a brother or sister. Odds are you know someone that has sibling that in on the spectrum. Perhaps you are a sibling of a brother or sister who has autism, or you are the one on the spectrum yourself. As we celebrate National Brothers & Sisters Day, let's take a look at the challenges and joys of experiencing autism through the eyes of a brother or sister.
Learning that your brother or sister has autism can be a very difficult experience. You may have noticed behaviours that upset you and hearing the word “autism” might be confusing for you. During this time, your life and that of your family may feel different than they were before this happened. You may be worried about how this will affect the future or how your family will cope.
It is very important to remember that your brother or sister is just like any other child, except he or she has autism. This is a time for you and your family to learn as much as you can about autism. Your support is very important and will help your brother or sister to improve and be the best he or she can be. At times, you will need to talk about how all of this affects you. So don’t hesitate to seek out a family member, teacher, or friend with whom you can be open and honest about your questions and feelings.
Your relationship with your brother or sister is very important. So it makes sense that you will want to spend time together, and for you both to feel comfortable and safe when you are playing. There may be times that your brother or sister does something suddenly or in an unusual way that can cause you to feel frustrated and upset. Ask your parents about the activities that you and your brother or sister can do together. It is important for you to know the best ways to interact with your sibling.
It may take a little time and a lot of patience to learn how to play with your brother or sister, but it will be worth it in the end. As you spend time with your sibling, it is likely you will get to know him or her better and you will start to appreciate the differences between the two of you.