For example, as a sibling of an autistic child, you can't help but have to work with, and around the special needs of your autistic brother and sister, both at home and in public. This can be quite time-consuming, inconvenient, and embarrassing for the sibling, no matter how much he or she may love his/her sibling. Likewise, the pressure of always being "the one who should know better", "the bigger person", and "mommy's helper" may often feel like a lot of responsibility and at times, quite unfair, because, after all, "I am a kid too!"
Both research and practice demonstrate that there seems to be a fair genetic component to ASD's (Autism Spectrum Disorders) meaning that they tend to run in families. In fact, the conclusion of a study of more than 1,200 families in the Interactive Autism Network, a national online research registry found that children with autism tend to have brothers and sisters with language delays and other, less obvious characteristics of the disorder.
Nevertheless, the families of a child with autism and other developmental disabilities are often so focused on caring for the diagnosed child, that the relatively mild issues of the siblings can be overlooked and even ignored. While it may not be feasible for the emotional and physical resources of the family to be divided equally among the children, it is important to give each child the space to be kid, no matter how well they may be functioning.
Helping families adjust to the diagnosis of an ASD, no matter who the diagnosed individual happens to be, is just one of the specialties of my practice.