Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sibling Rivalry With An Autistic Child - How Autism Affects Siblings

Sibling rivalry is a normal healthy part of any family group, the issue arise when you have a special needs child such as one with autism. We are given more then ample information on helping our child with autism and helping ourselves adjust to parenting them, but what about the siblings? What help is there for them? What is there to teach them how to cope and understand why their brother or sister is different and why the autistic child receives so much attention for things the siblings may feel is improper behaviour. Parents need to take an active role in helping children to cope with having an autistic sibling.
Siblings of the autistic child may feel left out or that their parents love them less as a result of all the attention needed to help the autistic child with daily living. There may arise issues with jealousy if the sibling does not understand why the parents attention and assistance is needed so greatly by the autistic child. Another issue of stress for the non-affected child may be with their peers. Though they are not the ones who have autism they may find themselves at the receiving end of ridicule and schoolyard teasing. This will often cause even further resentment of the autistic child.
Though sibling rivalry is a normal part of growing up, a parent with a special needs child needs to take special care with the siblings to ensure resentment and possibly hatred do not arise. Autism affects everyone in the family, and every child or parent associated with autism needs to be taught and helped to adjust to having an autistic loved one.
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