According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 in 59 children in the United States are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder each year. Having a sibling with autism poses specific challenges for the brother or sister and the parents of both neurotypical and neurodivergent children.
Camp Worth offers autism resources for parents in Forth Worth, Texas. Our compassionate staff of professionals provides a wide array of programs and services to help parents and their children. Call 855.915.2545 today to learn how we can help provide guidance and support.
What Is Autism?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability. People living with ASD may find it difficult to communicate and interact in social situations, as well as having difficulty understanding verbal or nonverbal cues. It can also affect behavior, making some people more prone to outbursts or meltdowns. Autism affects each individual differently, so the management of symptoms should be tailored to the specific needs of each person.
Signs of ASD in Children
There are many signs that can indicate a child may have autism. Some of the most common include the following:
- Difficulty with eye contact and maintaining conversations
- Repetitive behaviors or speech patterns
- Trouble understanding social cues such as body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice
- Distress when routines are disrupted
- Difficulties interpreting abstract concepts or jokes
Additionally, children with ASD often experience sensory sensitivities, such as responses to certain textures, tastes, or sounds that neurotypical individuals do not. If a child is exhibiting any of the above behaviors, it is important to speak to a healthcare professional for an assessment.
Talking to Your Child About Having a Sibling With Autism
When talking to your child about having a sibling with autism, make sure they understand that autism is not something wrong; instead, it is something different that must be respected and accepted. Explain briefly what autism entails, such as difficulties communicating and interacting socially, but tell them that despite these challenges, their sibling is still the same person they know and love.
Ways a Child Can Play With Their Sibling Who Has ASD
The best way to play with a sibling who has autism is to find activities that are tailored to their interests. This can include sensory-friendly toys, music, and movies. You can also focus on activities like arts and crafts that don’t require as much verbal interaction. It’s essential to try different activities until you find something they both enjoy. Above all else, make sure your child understands that simply being there for each other is one of the most important things they can do for their sibling with autism.
How Can A Neurotypical Sibling Benefit a Child With ASD
A neurotypical sibling is an invaluable resource for children with autism. They can help teach social skills and communication techniques, as well as provide support and emotional understanding. Neurotypical siblings can also help their autistic brothers or sisters to feel accepted and understood.
Reach Out to Camp Worth Today
At Camp Worth, our mission is to foster acceptance, inclusion, and understanding in the Fort Worth community. We understand how difficult it can be to manage your family’s unique circumstances, and we are here to help you every step of the way. We offer a variety of programs and services for parents and children with ASD. These include the following:
- Education program
- Autism parent training program
- Food and nutrition program
- Behavioral interventions
- Behavioral therapy