Parenting Struggle: How To Raise A Child With Autism When His Siblings Are Non-ASD

By alexa ancheta, Parent Herald February 15, 08:05 am
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Why sisters may be the key to understanding autism risk
People are becoming more aware of Autism thanks to advocates who take a close interest in children under the spectrum.

(Photo : David Cannon/Getty Images)

The movie "Accountant" may have its flaws but it shows the struggle that parents have to go through when raising children and one of them has autism. Raising a child is challenging enough, but the difficulty level increases when you have to explain to that child that another sibling is on the autism spectrum and may have his quirks on any day.

Siblings of kids with autism are forced to become more mature than their age if only to understand what is happening with the other sibling. It is sometimes difficult to explain to a child that his brother or sister has special needs that sometimes have to be taken care of ahead of his own needs.

This is the experience of one mother whose eldest son has the autism spectrum, and who has to explain to her younger child the doctor's diagnosis, according to Scary Mommy. A mother has to double her efforts to ensure that she makes time for all her children especially when one of them needs more focus, more time and more patience.

It takes courage for a mother to explain to a younger or older child that every person is different and their sibling has autism. A non-autistic child should always be reminded not only of a parent's love but also of how the autistic sibling loves him.

There is a special role for children who have an autistic sibling even if they do not always get the most attention, as per Autism Awareness Centre. To keep harmony in the family, there has to be more effort to understand autism and the important role each one in the family has to play to take care of their sibling.

Developmental psychologist Jean Piaget said there are different ways of explaining autism to a non-autistic sibling depending on the child's age. A child 12 years or older can be more understanding of the situation than a younger child.

Having a sibling under the autism spectrum can be chaotic and stressful for the whole family, according to Autism Speaks. Siblings of an autistic child can feel shortchanged but in the end, the love for their autistic will prevail depending on how the situation was explained to them by their parents.

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