Autistic disorders: A family challenge

Being an older brother of a child with a mild form of Autism, called Asperger`s syndrome, I have discovered skills that help me to be a good older brother. The skills I use to communicate with my little brother have sharpened over the years and he enjoys spending time with me, whether that is playing video games or helping him figure something out. My little brother is not a brother with a disability – he is family. He is my brother.

Here are a few things that I personally feel might help you to gain knowledge to help you live and love a child who has Autism.

1) What I do when my brother wants to express his ideas to me do not just nod my head and say “Uh huh,”“Yeah”or“Ah.”

2) When he asks for me to play with him, and I am busy, I am honest. Very few times do I say “We`ll see,” or “Maybe.” It is better to be honest, rather than being unsure and not following through.

3) Keep discipline within an autistic child, but of course, in realistic moderation. Do not let the child use the phrase “Well I have Autism so I don`t have to do that” as an excuse. My brother is very intelligent, and when he is motivated, he is amazing. Every child has their own unique abilities. So let them thrive in their abilities, and not always have excuses.

4) If your child is tired and needs a break from say, homework, let your child do so, but make sure after your child has rested, that their mind is back on task. The time your child needs may vary, as every child is unique.

5) And of course, love your child!


Here are some facts from the Autism Speaks Website:

  • Autism now affects 1 in 110 children and 1 in 70 boys
  • Autism prevalence figures are growing.
  • More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AidS, diabetes and cancer combined.
  • Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
  • Autism costs the nation over 35 billion dollars per year, a figure expected to significantly increase in the next decade.
  • Autism receives less than 5 percent of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases.
  • Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism
  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism.

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