Is anyone dealing with this? When the older sib is ASD and you worry about how their behavior (or difficult relational skills) will affect a younger sib...?
My 8yo ds is ASD and I have a very emotionally sensitive 3yo dd. He sometimes doesn't even acknowledge she's there when she's full-on saying his name over and over about a foot away from him--and kind of getting upset that he's ignoring her. If he talks to her, it's not really engaging with her. He's usually got a nose in a book and answering the wrong answer to a question just to answer SOMEthing because I've finally raised my voice. But it hurts her feelings. And forget eye contact. Ever.
And he's kind of mean to her. Not intentionally, but sometimes he's a really mean 2yo in terms of how he acts with her and she IDOLIZES him. I worry about what this is going to grow in her in terms of her idea of what loving relationships should be.
Am I nuts?
Heather - Wife , Mommy & Health & Wellness Educator, Speaker & Consultant
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Yes. I do have 4 kids though so there are some other siblings around that won't constantly hit or bite the youngest. My third child is ASD, and 3 years old, the youngest is 1 and the two girls are 9 and 5. DS1 is mostly indifferent to the 5 year, he could really care less that she exists. He adores the 9 year old, I think he sees her more as an adult then a little kid though. He will go to her for things that other kids go to a mom and dad for, even preferring her over me at times. He is downright nasty to the 1 year old. There is no middle ground, he is either flat out ignoring him or attempting to bite off a limb. Seriously. The baby is sporting two massive bite wounds presently just from getting near DS1. This brotherly relationship is just beginning and not going to be an easy one. They are just two years apart and already DS2 is mastering things that DS1 still can not do. I see this relationship being quite challenging.
I do see the gift in it with DD1 though. She has her own issues but she is good with younger children. As DS1 has gotten older and his behavior more challenging, she has developed that knack for understanding him. She can often calm him down when I can not. He will let her carry him around when he won't let me near him. It gives me chills sometimes to think that just maybe she will become a wonderfully, caring adult because of her sibling's ASD.
well, as fate would have it, I met another Aspie parent who has the older Aspie boy and a younger NT girl although the gap is not as big as mine. In their case the Aspie is pretty mean to the younger sib such that the younger sib is pretty vicious.
He also said they can't leave the two alone for concerns about inappropriate behavior where the older isn't leading (or rather avoiding because they are older and know better) and the younger is repeating nonsense that she comes home from school with (which is relatively harmless when not acted on, but with the lack of understanding appropriateness and boundaries from the older one--they're concerned). Since their oldest if a few years older than mine, I was almost glad to be alerted to that possibility. Nervous, but glad to be warned I guess.