Mondays with Grace – Helping Your Neurotypical Child Cope

Check out this awesome post by Autism Awareness about assisting your neurotypical child when it times to cope!

How to Help Your Neurotypical Child Cope

Oftentimes, when someone is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the focus completely shifts from worrying about both kids to putting a lot more focus on the child with ASD. And of course, the child with ASD needs more attention. But when children are young and don’t fully understand what is going on, the transition of your parents putting more focus on your sibling can be confusing and difficult.

Here are some things you can do to help your other children understand what’s going on and how to support them.

Teach them about the diagnosis

Young children may not understand completely, but explain to them what the diagnosis is and let them know that because their sibling has special needs,  they will have to tend to them a little bit more.

Reassure them

Siblings of ASD children typically have a lot of questions and are confused. They will feel embarrassed and sometimes like a burden. They usually want to know:

Will I get to spend time with mom and dad? 

Why do I always have to do the chores but my sibling doesn’t? 

How do I explain my siblings behavior to my friends?

It’s important to answer their questions and be patient with them, while also understanding that they may feel angry at their sibling for getting more attention. Make sure they know that you’re still there for them, and constantly check in with how they’re feeling.

Remember: They will be there for their sibling

Those who have siblings with autism are much more likely to be sensitive to those with special needs, and stick up for them. They are just looking from attention from their parents to feel more safe, but they will always protect their sibling. You don’t need to push them to be supportive.

Overall, being the sibling of someone with ASD can leave the child feeling like they need to be perfect and lead to feelings of resentment. As a parent, always check in with your child, and make sure they know they are loved too.

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