Siblings of children with autism often face unique challenges as a result of their sibling’s diagnosis. Some of the most common issues that siblings of autistic children may face include:
Feeling left out: Siblings of autistic children may feel neglected or left out, as their parents or caregivers may focus a lot of their attention on their autistic sibling.
Jealousy: Siblings may also feel jealous of the attention and resources that are directed towards their autistic brother or sister.
Stress and anxiety: Living with a sibling with autism can be stressful, especially if the child with autism has significant behavioral or communication issues. This stress and anxiety may manifest in a variety of ways, such as difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, or difficulty concentrating.
Difficulty making friends: Siblings of autistic children may find it harder to make friends, as they may be seen as “the sibling of the child with autism” and may be perceived differently by their peers.
Shame and embarrassment: Siblings may also feel shame or embarrassment about their sibling’s autism, and may try to hide their sibling’s condition from their peers.
Learning how to cope: Siblings may also have to learn how to cope with the unique challenges that their autistic sibling brings to the family dynamic. They may need to learn how to communicate with their sibling, how to understand their sibling’s behavior, and how to advocate for their sibling’s needs.
It’s important to note that siblings can also have a positive experience from having a brother or sister with autism, They can learn compassion, understanding, patience, and have a sense of responsibility towards their sibling. Sometimes it can strengthen the bond between them, as well.
It’s important for siblings to have proper support, education, and understanding about autism, as well as opportunities to express their feelings and talk about the challenges they are facing.
The proper support for siblings can be found here at Uniquely You Behavioral Heatlh. We understand you can have complex feelings about your siblings diagnosis. Uniquely You Behavioral Health provides individual and group support to siblings. We are also offering Sibshops monthly for continued support with no need to be a therapy client to attend!