How to teach children about autism?- about their autistic sibling

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Sibling to sibling relationship

Most of the parents found themselves in a situation where it’s hard to explain to their unaffected children about autism. How to talk to children about autism should not be taken for granted. The unaffected children  instinctively know that something is not right with their brother or sister. Most of the time they would ask “Why my brother or sister can’t  say something?” or ” Why is he or she acting like that?”. Although during at their early age they may not be able to put into words what they observe or what they feel about their sibling with autism , they are always concerned and they get stress  without getting the answer  from the question “Why?”. Why my brother or sister is like that, how come our  sibling is different?

Surely as the time goes by they  may be uncomfortable what they thought about their sibling. It is best for all to be opened. Parents should act and talk to their other children and tell them in simple explanation possible about autism. Keeping the issue inside the vault would not bring good result at the end of the day as they may hear you talking within the family about their autistic sibling and possible would misinterpret the situation. They would likely seeing you so depress or in pain. The children would not fully understand what was going on and they may likely blame themselves for your suffering or  their sibling’s condition.

Explain what is autism to your children

Having the autism  issue discussed with your unaffected children would ease the discomfort and their confusion. Their interaction with their sibling that has autism would be less worried because their parents had openly talked and explained  to them about the situation. It is also important to let the children know that their sibling was only diagnosed and there is still hope  through treatment.

They will have a better understanding if the parents would encourage their children to help in handling their sibling’s particular autism challenges  as well as the strengths. In other words, helping their autistic sibling by joining the family  as a group and play an important role through building a bridge of interaction in helping their autistic sibling.

Explaining a situation like this  to children must be settled through and at their level of understanding. A medical doctor who is expertise in the field of neurology said ” Having the issue of autism opened to all member of the family can help contribute to the treatment and welfare  of an autistic child “. Parents should explain to their unaffected children that learning capability of each one of them is different than what their autistic sibling can do. Learning for him or her  is one hundred times  than an unaffected child can perform. Everybody has difficulty learning something but how much more to an autistic person.

The next thing to talk with them is how they will interact. Begin with asking a question like what they notice to their autistic sibling , each unaffected child should be asked. For your young  children who don’t understand help them play together make it less dullness   as much as possible. This kind of interaction would be a key to strengthen their relationship. For other children who were grown up you can explain it to them straight forward about autism , what their sibling’s mental issue. Always inform them the best way  that they can understand about their sibling unique situation and how the best way to interact with him.

Having a siblings are a gift for a child with autism because they would help by openly persistent  in pursuing the relationship with their sibling and will mostly generally interact as one. In here this kind of mood all sibling can be possible to become best of friends. Parents should help guide their children on how  to interact with their autistic sibling.

Know the siblings’ limitation to their autistic sibling

It is the best way to encourage your children to be a sibling to their sibling and not as another parent. Because there is a risk that they will fall into a parenting role adopting the language of the parents to become more directive with a child , which should not happen. It is important to explain to them and encourage them not to  become another parent. If the parents have a sibling during their younger age they would probably recall  what the time looks like during their younger age. That experiences  can be still remembered and apply to your children. Teach them through your experience on  how to be supposedly interact and improve their relationship with their sibling.

For more information , toys  and advice about  autism please click here. Should you have question or comment regarding this post feel free to write it down on the comment section. Thank you.


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4 comments

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    • Michel on January 5, 2017 at 5:17 pm
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    A really interesting and thought provoking article on dealing with autistic siblings.

    I can imagine it must be quite frustrating for the normal child to have the patience to keep trying to have a relationship with the autistic one if there is no give and take on that side.

    I think it is crucial to explain things. How to develop the patience in the normal child may prove difficult though – how would you deal with this?

  1. Hello Michel,
    I have a child with autism and he is much older than his brother and younger than his sister. It just a matter of explaining to my children in a simple way they could understand. I told them that their sibling is different in a way that he can’t do things the way they do. Letting them to know that their brother needs help and we can only give it to him by showing our love and understanding. It is much easier for the children to understand and accept what is going on with their affected sibling through the continues support of their parents.

  2. Thanks for every other wonderful article. Where else may anybody get that kind of information in such a perfect method of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m at the look for such info.

    1. I may have to say , thank you for such a wonderful complement. I am glad I could help.

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