Siblings of Autism

One thing about this autism thing that truly breaks my heart is Ikey.  I can’t help but wonder if he’ll live his life thinking he’s getting the short end of the stick.  I mean, Silas gets to hang out with all these cool people 4 days a week.  He’ll soon also be hanging out with a speech therapist and an OT.  Silas will, for a long time, be getting extra special treatment.

Ikey also gets the brunt of Silas’ blow ups.  When we went through that really hard period recently I remember holding Ikey close, defending him from his angry brother, not knowing what to….all three of us in tears.

I don’t know how to combat this.  I don’t know how to make Isaac feel like he’s getting all the attention that Silas gets.  I don’t know how to make him feel just as special.  I don’t know which things to do and which things not to do.  I don’t know how to avoid future issues for him.  This is such a tough one.  This is SO part of the reason why I’m never having another kid.  I hardly feel like there’s enough of me to go around already!!

I never had a sibling with any issues…okay well…lets just say we all have an equal amount of issues.  I love you sisters and Andy!!  But I did grow up with a father who’s physically handicapped and boy oh boy was that hard.  Hard because I was so young and one day he was healthy and the next day he was paralyzed.  That caused a lot of stress in my early years of life which lead to bigger issues like stress induced childhood OCD amongst other things.  Not my dad’s fault at all.  It didn’t help that he was recuperated and then was hit by a car and put right back to the beginning again.  Was just the nature of what happened.  I think it’s very different than having a sibling with something though.  I did learn a lot of things, I learned a lot of patience and of course LOADS of acceptance for people with physical issues.  I’m sure I learned some crazy coping mechanisms too.  Who knows.

So what I think I’m going to do is start searching for people who are grown up siblings of someone with exceptionalities.  Doesn’t have to be autism but of course I’d love it to be mostly autism or aspburgers.  I think I’ll come up with a list of questions and compile notes and see exactly what their parents did right and what their parents did wrong.  Then I’ll turn it into a wonderful blog so you all have the information too.

If you know someone or are someone who’s a sibling of someone who has developmental delays or even physical handicaps could you please comment on here that you’d like to participate or please email me at and I’ll get a list of questions for you to answer.  I’ll keep everything completely confidential and will ask for permission before using a quote of yours and what not.  If you know a sibling then please give them my email.

Thanks for the help!!

PS, silas is upstairs with Elisha right now.  She walked in the door and he was so delighted, his WHOLE body went stiff (posturing) and he ran over to her.  He then ran right up the stairs, ready to get to work!!  I seriously think this kind of therapy (Able ABA) as opposed to the tradtional Lovaas ABA is so much better for our family.  I think it would be better for a LOT of kids with autism.

OKAY comment…send me emails.  Lets learn how to be the best we can be for the siblings of autism!!!

PS I also need your comments over at Discovering Happy.  thnx


  1. Jennie here – using Gramp’s computer, but didn’t want to change the name ’cause that throws them off.

    Anyhow – remind me to put you in touch with our 2nd cousin who’s brother is disabled.

  2. My sister is 2 years younger than me and she had Chrone’s disease as a young child- diagnosed at 10 years old and she was in and out of the hospital and had multiple suregeries from age 11-17. My parents seemed to never be home- my grandmother kept me a lot during those years. I never felt resentful or angry- I knew she was sick and that they had to do all of that to make her feel better. I think Ikey will grow up and be protective over him, although he is the younger sibling, and he will view what you did as well they had to do it.

  3. Hi Leah,

    I don’t think that you would remember me, but I was at your college around the same time as you (I was friends with Leanne, your s-i-l). Anyways, I stumbled across your blog a little while ago, and when I read this post I felt like I should make myself known. 🙂 I have an older brother (he is 17 months older) that has cerebral palsy and some other tendencies that the doctors have been very reluctant to label. Seems like no one wants to be the guy to drop the hammer. My brother, Wes, tends to “lash out” in public if he feels like he is being mocked or scrutinized – even if he isn’t. Yelling and threatening anyone around him. I’ve even been on the end of an unexpected blow or two. Anyways, if you are looking for some insight from a siblings point of view, I would be happy to help. I think you got my email as a result of this post, so you can contact me there or look me up on Facebook 🙂

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