Getting Along with a Sibling Who Has Asperger’s Syndrome
Finding out about Asperger’s Syndrome will help you get along with a sibling with the condition. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to understand your sibling. Get to know how AS impacts on his or her life. This knowledge will help you avoid scenarios that may cause conﬂict, and you’ll know how to help your sibling out when he or she gets into difﬁculties.
Helpful tips for getting along with siblings include
Give them space and time to be alone: Sometimes your sibling will need to be solitary, so don’t interrupt them.
Be as calm and as patient as you can with them: Even if they’ve just broken your favourite CD; don’t lose your temper. Explain why you’re upset or cross and then let it go.
Use clear language, and let your sibling know how you feel: Remember that people with AS can only know that they’ve upset you or done something you don’t like if you actually tell them.
Accept them for who they are: Having a diagnosis of AS doesn’t change a person; he or she is still your sibling.
Use their special interests or skills as a motivator to spend time with you: Offer to attend a game fair, play chess, do a puzzle or whatever else they particularly enjoy.
Be patient and give them time to talk to you: Try chatting on car journeys when you don’t need to look each other in the eye and you won’t be interrupted.
Try to put yourself in their shoes: Consider what living in an autism-unfriendly world is like, where most people don’t understand you and you find communicating with others very difficult.
Show them that you care and that they have someone on whom they can depend for help, however they may want it: Support your sibling in any way you can; at times you may be the closest person to your sibling, and knowing you’re there can be hugely important to him or her.