How can I help my daughter understand her Aspergers brother?

Question

How can I help my daughter understand her brother with Aspergers?

Answer

Kids without Aspergers can have a difficult time understanding their Aspergers siblings. The Aspie seems smart, uses big words that are hard to comprehend, avoids hanging out with the family, and focuses all of his being on his special interest. In many ways, he is a stranger. He does not appear to be disabled; he just seems quirky and embarrassing. Children may need family pep talks and counseling to help them understand and cope with their Aspergers sibling’s condition.

Here some ideas to help your children understand their Aspie sibling:

• Allow your non-Aspergers kids to help your Aspie with his therapy. Nearly all therapies can be worked on at home for greater progress. Enlist the entire family and multiply your Aspie’s social interaction and progress on therapy goals.

• Aspergers support groups offer non-Aspergers siblings a chance to build friendships with other children living with a sibling with Aspergers.

• Celebrate your Aspie’s strengths. He is an intelligent individual with many strengths. Recognize these strengths as a family.

• Explain the condition to your kids without Aspergers. Give each youngster an opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions suitable for your family dynamics. Describe Aspergers as an obstacle to be tackled by the entire family. This will increase understanding and unity.

• Family counseling and individual counseling can help your “normal” kids learn to cope with the differences caused by Aspergers.

• Talk about your Aspie’s embarrassing characteristics and how your family can make things better. No youngster wants to be embarrassed by a sibling in front of his friends. Give your non-Aspergers kids the information they need so they know that your Aspie’s behavior is not personal and is not just bad behavior. Encourage them to dismiss this embarrassing behavior in the presence of friends while explaining his condition.

The Parenting Aspergers Resource Guide

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