Understanding Autism For Dummies
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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.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Stephen M. Shore received a regressive autism diagnosis at 18 months, became nonverbal, and was deemed too sick to be treated on an outpatient basis. Today, he has a doctoral degree focused on helping people with autism lead fulfilling and productive lives. When not teaching college-level courses in special education and teaching children with autism how to play musical instruments, he consults and presents on autism-related issues internationally. Some topics of particular interest to him include comparative approaches for helping people with autism, education, and disaster preparedness for people with disabilities. Shore holds a master's degree in music education and a doctorate in education from Boston University. Linda G. Rastelli is an award-winning journalist, instructional designer, and author with 20 years of experience in writing and designing instruction for health, education, and business topics. In her career, she has focused on making complex and technical information understandable to the layperson. Although she has covered subjects ranging from financial ratio analysis to educational reform, her most challenging inquiry to date — an undertaking that has made her other projects look like finger painting in comparison — has been autism. Linda holds a bachelor's of arts degree from the University of Delaware and a master's degree from Columbia University.

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