An autism spectrum disorder diagnosis can have far-reaching effects on the siblings of the individual with autism. In addition to the physical and emotional challenges, such as changes in lifestyle, siblings may experience a range of emotions, including confusion, guilt, sadness, and even anger. It’s important for siblings to be provided with education and support to help them understand how best to cope with their new reality.
Fortunately, there are a number of strategies that siblings can use to help alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with growing up in families affected by autism. If you’re in need of family resources near Newton, MA, call 888.572.7473 today to find out how Rising Above ABA’s services can help.
How Does Autism Affect the Family?
Autism can have a drastic impact on the dynamics of a family. Parents can become overwhelmed with the demands of caring for a child on the autism spectrum, making siblings feel neglected and isolated. It can be difficult to adapt to a new way of living, as siblings may feel like they have less attention from their parents or that they cannot relate to their siblings with autism.
In addition, siblings may also experience additional pressure, such as being asked to help manage the daily care and activities of their siblings with autism. Siblings may also feel like they have to be more responsible or mature than they would otherwise due to an increased sense of responsibility for the family.
How to Support the Siblings of Children with Autism
As siblings adjust to life in a family with a loved one who has been diagnosed with autism, it’s important to focus on siblings first. Here are some tips for siblings to ease the transition and support their siblings with autism:
- Spend quality time together – Spending time with siblings can help siblings of children with autism better understand their sibling’s needs and build a strong bond.
- Encourage siblings to talk about their feelings – Siblings may experience a range of emotions, and it’s important to provide siblings with an outlet to express their thoughts and feelings in order to manage any negative or challenging emotions.
- Provide opportunities for siblings to learn more about autism – Siblings can benefit from learning more about the condition as well as how they can support their siblings living with autism.
- Celebrate siblings’ accomplishments – Siblings should be encouraged to take part in activities that make them feel proud of themselves, such as sports or art classes.
- Participate in support groups – Support groups are a great way for siblings to connect with others in similar situations, share their experiences and find comfort in knowing they’re not alone.
Additionally, partnering with an autism treatment provider who offers family support services can make a difference. Support specialists can answer questions, provide resources, and provide siblings with the support they need.
Reach Out to Rising Above ABA for Family Support Services
Rising Above ABA is a premier provider of applied behavioral analysis (ABA) services in Newton, MA. Our experienced team of specialists can help siblings adapt to the changes that come with having siblings who have been diagnosed with autism.
Through home-based and in-school services, we can provide siblings with the tools and resources to better understand their siblings’ needs and develop a stronger bond. We also offer family support services to help all of your loved ones learn how to best support your child. A “personal trainer” assigned to every family in our care is an invaluable resource for all of our clients.