Raising a child with autism can be daunting for parents. It can be just as hard or even worse, however, for the child’s siblings. Most of the time, the “typical” siblings deal with gaining their parents’ attention, which they sometimes perceive as unfair. Some feel embarrassed about discussing having a brother or sister with autism with their peers.
These are some of the normal effects of having a sibling with autism, and parents have the responsibility to make sure that those effects don’t take toll on their family. It’s their duty to explain the condition of their child with autism to their other children as early as possible and it should be an ongoing conversation.
It will take some time for the siblings of children with autism to accept and live with their situation in the family. Nonetheless, through constant conversation with their parents, they will not just accept it but they will also willingly play their role in ensuring the safe and healthy development of their siblings.
Parents should consider providing their typical children with a doll they can play with. The doll can be a perfect representation of a child with autism, and a typical child playing with it can realize his or her role in taking care of a differently abled sibling. In the process, the parents can incorporate such representation in their ongoing conversation with their typical children regarding their family situation.