Sibling Studies: The good, the bad, and the contradictory | Interactive Autism Network
One in 88 American children is diagnosed with autism-spectrum Not surprisingly, many envied their friends' “normal” sibling relationships. The sibling relationship is unique in that it lasts the longest of all human . to be younger than their brother or sister with an ASD than were the adult siblings. Living with a brother or sister with an Autism Spectrum Disorder adds more that siblings without disabilities viewed their relationship with their brother or sister with Without information about a siblings' disability, younger children may worry.
Autism, PDD-NOS & Asperger's fact sheets | Impact of Autism and Aspergers syndrome on siblings
Perhaps the most challenging issue a family faces is, on the one hand, encouraging and fostering the independence and self-determination of the person with Aspergers and, on the other hand, facing the reality that, at some level, assistance may be necessary. When planning for the future of the sibling with Aspergers, you should consider such things as mobility, social and communication skills, education, and the individual's own ideas about where to live and work.
Even after careful planning and the appointment of a guardian or co-guardians, plans should be made for emergencies. A file should be kept in a safe place, known to all family members.
The following ideas should be addressed when making future plans and the information should be included in this accessible file: Neurotypical siblings should know where to access the needed educational, vocational, and medical records of the Aspergers sibling, and be ready to anticipate his or her changing future needs. Know your state's laws regarding guardianship and independence. Do not assume that you as parents will automatically remain your youngster's guardian when he or she reaches the age of majority in your state.
Establish whether the sibling with Aspergers requires no, partial, or full guardianship. This information should be in writing, and, if possible, make contingency plans in case the first-choice guardian is unable to assume that role.
Be aware of the consequences in your state of not having a guardian appointed.
Families should gain an understanding of the legal and eligibility requirements of programs available to the family member with Aspergers. Families should discover the types of community resources available. The range of services and resources varies considerably according to place of residence. Keep abreast of any changes in the availability of these services. Consider the sibling's need for long-term care, as well as for employment and companionship. Families should consider the future health of the sibling with Aspergers with respect to needed services and care.
Moms and dads should document where he or she can receive medical care and the financial resources and arrangements necessary for this care. Develop financial plans for future care. If the family is considering establishing a trust for the family member with Aspergers, it should consider the incomes of the kids in the family, including the sibling with Aspergers.
Make a will only with an attorney experienced in devising wills for those who have an heir with this disorder. Inheritances must be treated with caution. It is especially important to investigate the continued eligibility for certain social services if assets from an estate, pension, or life insurance are left to the youngster with Aspergers.
Be aware that, as families grow and develop, the members within it change. Living with and caring for a youngster with Aspergers is different from living with and caring for an adult with Aspergers. Family members should continually ask themselves the following questions: Are my career plans compatible with my responsibilities for my brother or sister with Aspergers? How will the responsibility be shared with other family members?
How will these needs change?
Sibling Studies: The good, the bad, and the contradictory
Is the involvement financially, emotionally and psychologically realistic for me? What are the needs of the sibling with Aspergers? What can be expected from local support groups in the community? What is and will be my level of involvement? Will my future spouse accept my brother or sister?
My Aspergers Child: Aspergers and Sibling Relationships
The care of a sibling with Aspergers is, in large part, a family affair and a responsibility that should be shared as evenly as possible. By planning effectively for the future, parents can help ease the responsibility and the feelings of stress that uncertainty about the future can bring. Suggestions to Moms and Dads— Moms and dads set the tone for sibling interactions and attitudes by example and by direct communications.
Often the sibling without the disability is asked to assume or may on their own feel obligated to assume the role of caretaker. It is best to be proactive in addressing these issues. Siblings are members of the family that need information, reassurance and coping strategies just as parents do. Each family is unique. There are various family structures such as single parents, multi-generational households, and households with other significant stressors including more than one member with a disability.
Each family has its own beliefs, values, and needs. Regardless of family circumstances, the suggestions for parents discussed here should be viewed as supportive strategies that can be considered to assist siblings in coping with having a brother or sister with an autism spectrum disorder. Twelve Important Needs of Siblings and Tips to Address These Needs Siblings need communication that is open, honest, developmentally appropriate, and ongoing.
Parents may need to deal with their own thoughts and feelings before they can effectively share information with siblings. Children may show their stress through their withdrawal or through inappropriate behaviors.
Siblings may be reluctant to ask questions due to not knowing what to ask or out of fear of hurting the parent. While doing research on siblings, Sandra Harris found that developmentally appropriate information can buffer the negative effects of a potentially stressful event Harris, Anxiety is most frequently the result of lack of information.
The young child will only be able to understand specific traits that they can see like the fact that the sibling does not talk or likes to line up their toys.
School aged children need to know if the autism will get worse, and what will happen to their brother or sister. Adolescents are anxious about the future responsibility and impact of the disability on their future family. Siblings need parental attention that is consistent, individualized, and celebrates their uniqueness.
Many families make a major effort to praise and reward the child with the disability for each step of progress. Siblings need time with a parent that is specifically for them. Schedule special time with the sibling on a regular basis. The important thing is to have some specific times with a parent that siblings can count on having just for them.
Siblings need to learn skills of interaction with their brother or sister with an autism spectrum disorder. It is important to go slow and generously praise the sibling for his or her efforts. Siblings need to be able to have some choice about how involved they are with their brother or sister with an autism spectrum disorder. Be reasonable in your expectations of siblings. Most siblings are given responsibility for their brother or sister with a disability at one time or another.
Show siblings you respect their need for private time and space away from the child with the disability. Make every effort to use respite services, community recreational programs, and other available supports so that you are not overly dependent on the sibling.
- Autism’s Invisible Victims: The Siblings
- Siblings Perspectives: Some Guidelines for Parents
Siblings need to feel that they and their belongings are safe from their brother or sister with autism. Though they fully appreciated the burdens their parents shouldered, they lamented a family that totally revolved around one child. Major school events were often attended by only one parent, the other staying at home with their spectrum child. They longed for mutual support, shared secrets and the imaginative play enjoyed by typical sibling pairs. They fervently envied the freedom to quarrel without fear of disaster.
The wish for a sibling confidante was never more ardent than during clashes between their parents. Which is the larger point. Sometimes the impact on siblings can be positive.