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How can I help the sibling of my child with autism?

Chantal Sicile-Kira
Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities
Having a sibling with autism can be difficult. Make sure that the lines of communication are open between you and your children who do not have autism. Let them know they can ask questions and that the feelings they are experiencing are normal. Teach children how to communicate and connect with their siblings with autism. This does not mean making children without autism responsible for their siblings with autism.

It's important that you spend some time with the sibling without autism, even if it is just half an hour at breakfast or 20 minutes at bedtime. They need some of your undivided attention. In this vein, organize special outings with them occasionally -- with you, or perhaps a relative -- so they can feel special. Also, teach the child with autism one or two chores, so that everyone is expected to partake in community living as well as they can.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.