How to Encourage Children to Connect with Siblings with Autism

An advocate of people living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Don Teolis supports the Autism Society and the Autism Science Foundation.  As the father of an autistic child, Don Teolis holds a special interest in children and parents dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  He has established an organization called Autismatic (www.autismatic.org), which showcases informative and inspirational books like “Be Strong, Be Tough, Be Smart”, and features various articles and information on Autism.  Don Teolis’ goal is to boost awareness, while encouraging families to realize the profound impact they can have on the development and ultimate success of their loved one.

One of the biggest challenges for parents of children with ASD is fostering relationships between those children and their siblings. At younger ages, children may feel embarrassed or jealous of siblings with autism. Parents often recognize these situations, but they may not know how to deal with them. One of the underlying issues that often sparks these emotions is a child’s perceived inability to create a meaningful relationship with the sibling who has ASD.

Parents can provide their children with tools for playful interactions to create solid foundations for meaningful relationships. For younger children dealing with autism, siblings must constantly ensure they have their complete attention, provide very simple directions, and offer constant praise for positive reactions. Although these techniques may seem simple, studies show that children who receive training in them develop healthier and more playful relationships with their siblings.

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