Just a few decades ago, autism was not widely known about, understood, or accepted. Siblings of children with autism often had trouble trying to interact with their brother or sister and felt left out when their siblings required more attention than they did.
Joe was one of those children. He always tried to get his brother, Matthew, to play with him, but he didn’t have much success and longed for someone his own age to talk to.
The early experiences of people like Joe, however, are leading to a much better present and future for people with the disorder and those around them. A whopping 76% of people who grew up with an autistic sibling later go into human services professions, helping to make the world a better place through compassionate interaction with others. They are more understanding and sympathetic because of their experiences with autism.
Now, sibling support groups have been invented to help siblings of children with autism cope with not being able to interact with their siblings in the way most neurotypical children do. These groups help explain what an autistic sibling might be going through and how they might perceive the world. They also lend the kids a few friendly listening ears so they can talk about their struggles.
Watch how this support group teaches siblings to relate better with each other!
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?