Today, lets not talk about autism. Let’s ponder upon a different dimension altogether. This time let’s focus on the siblings of the autistic individual. Well , many a times the parents focus too much on their autistic child that the other one feels left out. This is very traumatic for the sibling . First, this further degrades the empathetic link between both siblings . Second , it might lead to hostility towards the autistic child . Lastly, it creates a feeling of alienation from the family in the sibling.
Therefore, it becomes necessary for parents to balance out an equal relationship between two siblings. It is common that autistic individuals are cared more , no doubt they need it too. However, their siblings feel withdrawn and they stop identifying with the family . This further aggravates their negative emotions towards their autistic siblings and it can lead to sibling rivalry , mostly commenced by the sibling of the autistic child. Autistic individuals are socially impaired, it becomes harder for the siblings to understand their feeling. Also , the siblings might not prefer a straight talk or accept it directly but they do show early signs of resentment. This may vary from seeking attention from parents or deliberately hitting the autistic sibling.
One needs to understand that it can play with the psyche of the sibling ,and create aggressive feelings towards autistic siblings. This mostly happens in early years but if not treated it can lead to fixation of the sibling. They might always feel cornered in every situation, deny share of equal resource or may be their parent’s love. This bunch of negative emotions can hamper the child development itself. Often these siblings lack source of motivation, and can possibly not do well if they continue with same attitude.
The sibling should be encouraged to harbour love for the autistic child by counselling the child about the autistic child’s problem. He/she must be made sensitive towards the needs of the autistic child. Parents can only achieve this by paying attention to the other sibling as well so that the feeling of alienation in the sibling is diminished. This could be easily cured in early years of the sibling right from the start. Sibling must be made to feel secured about his/her parent’s love and care so that he/she doesn’t have to protest for the right he has.
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