Siblings of children with autism are in a unique position. They face challenges (similar to those that parents encounter), but at a time before they’ve developed appropriate coping strategies. As a result, they need support to ensure that they’re informed, feel respected, and know how to be compassionate advocates for their brothers and sisters on the spectrum.
OAR’s “Autism Sibling Support” initiative offers guidance for young children, teenagers, and parents on how to productively address the ups and downs that may arise for individuals who have a brother or sister with autism.
We recognized that these future advocates, potential caretakers, and lifelong friends require more support and attention. Many people who have siblings with autism are faced with overwhelming challenges, responsibilities, and emotions when addressing their siblings’ needs, well before they’re able to develop the coping strategies that their parents use.
The Autism Sibling Support resources not only validate siblings’ feelings and provide a sense of comfort in knowing that they are not alone, but also offer practical and age-appropriate guidance on how to address some of the difficulties they’re likely to experience.
We have produced three resources, each with a different audience. All three resources are available as a PDF document and in hard copy.