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angelbear
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09 Feb 2010, 12:29 pm

Hello all! I am the parent of a wonderful 4 year old AS little boy. He is more than likely going to be an only child mainly because of my age. (I was 40 when I had him) Anyway, I worry about him not having any siblings. I was hoping to hear about your experiences with having (or not having) a sibling----



ursaminor
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09 Feb 2010, 12:31 pm

Life would be much easier without my sibling.



starygrrl
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09 Feb 2010, 12:42 pm

Honestly speaking, having a sibling may make things MUCH MUCH MUCH WORSE. It does not help to have a sibling, in fact it just adds unneeded stimulation and stress. On top of that your time and focus will be diverted. It would just make what is already bound to be a hard childhood, harder. Let him be an only child, it will be easier for him to decompress when he needs the time too.

I would much rather not had a sibling. It made life more difficult for me at home because when I wanted to be alone they bothered me. I needed that time alone, I did not need a sibling. For me growing up was being under constant stress because of how bad things were at school, how bad things were at home, and having a little brother.



Meg72
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09 Feb 2010, 12:45 pm

I suppose it might help being an only child. More attention would be focused on him then and you wont have to worry about another child being jealous of the attention he needs.

However, I don't know what I'd do without my brother and vice versa I suspect. He is autistic and I think having me there helps him, but then he is younger than me and I think that makes a huge difference.



PrisonerSix
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09 Feb 2010, 12:45 pm

ursaminor wrote:
Life would be much easier without my sibling.


My life would have been much better without my older sister and two of my 3 brothers.


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kc8ufv
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09 Feb 2010, 1:00 pm

Honestly, I'd probably be much worse-off now, if I didn't have my little brother. When I was a kid, I'd end up playing with my brother and his friends, since I had a hard time making my own friends. Sure, there were times where I wished he weren't there, but I think overall, it was beneficial. My traits may be beneficial, but there seems to be a minimum amount of social skills needed to actually be able to use the traits in the professional world -- You can't get a job anywhere if you can't bring yourself to talk to someone.



Willard
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09 Feb 2010, 1:12 pm

I was an only child during my formative years, as my sister wasn't born until I was 9. With that many years between us, we didn't interact a lot, as I was a teenager while she was in preschool.

I can see how it might have been more difficult and stressful to have had a sibling when I was really young (though I did have 2 cousins my age that I spent a LOT of time with - they were in fact the only friends I had).

On the other hand, as has been pointed out here already, there is something to be said for the effect on development of social skills and personal interaction that you don't get if there's never anyone else around.



PrisonerSix
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09 Feb 2010, 1:17 pm

kc8ufv wrote:
Honestly, I'd probably be much worse-off now, if I didn't have my little brother. When I was a kid, I'd end up playing with my brother and his friends, since I had a hard time making my own friends. Sure, there were times where I wished he weren't there, but I think overall, it was beneficial. My traits may be beneficial, but there seems to be a minimum amount of social skills needed to actually be able to use the traits in the professional world -- You can't get a job anywhere if you can't bring yourself to talk to someone.


Glad it worked out for you. My sister often stole the few friends I made. They would come by the house, talk to me for a short time, then spend their time with her ignoring me. I just wanted her to have her friends and me to have mine, but our parents wouldn't intervene, even though if she had friends over, I was not to bother them in any way. Never quite understood why I wasn't granted the same courtesy.

As for my sister, she was always a my way or the highway sort of person so if we tried to spend time together, everything had to be the way she wanted it and if it wasn't, she'd get up and leave. Even board games would end up in a fight because if I started winning, she'd get mad the moves I'd made and tell me I can't do that, or simply say that she automatically won.

I live in a different city from her now, and rarely see her, which works out fine for me.

Based on your screen name, looks like you're a ham. Good to see another ham here.


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Stinkypuppy
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09 Feb 2010, 1:34 pm

Willard wrote:
On the other hand, as has been pointed out here already, there is something to be said for the effect on development of social skills and personal interaction that you don't get if there's never anyone else around.

+1

I have a twin brother, and he's my worst enemy and best friend at the same time, so things balance out. A lot of people in this thread are griping that they think they would need the alone time and whatnot, and I certainly had many moments that I wanted my brother to go away. But in retrospect, I'm glad he never did... because all the other times when I didn't want to get away, I really appreciated having someone there who knew me in every way imaginable. Someone who understood the social problems I had at school, and the horrors we faced at home, because he not only said, "oh, I sympathize", he experienced everything with me too. It did amazing wonders to both of our self-esteems, simply knowing that we aren't alone, and we weren't going crazy. We had the same special interests growing up, which helped a lot.

Of course, it also helped to have a captive audience of sorts to practice social skills on. It took a lot of the pressure off, knowing that pretty much no matter what I did, my brother had little choice but to live in the same house as me, and vice versa. We annoyed each other constantly, but ultimately learned to get over things, to learn to share, to learn that to help each other was also to help ourselves.


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pat2rome
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09 Feb 2010, 1:43 pm

My sister has always looked after me. Always. A few weeks ago my family sat down and watched old videos. One of them was Christmas when I was 2 and she was 4. I was completely focused on one toy, and she was saying "Hey, Patrick, look what you got over here!" and trying to keep me moving. :)

I also get all of my clothing advice from her, and she does an awesome job with that too.


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ursaminor
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09 Feb 2010, 1:46 pm

There is no way to be sure if your son will have a happy or a sad experience with a sibling, so this thread has not helped at all.



persian85033
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09 Feb 2010, 1:53 pm

Having my brother has helped me a lot.



poopylungstuffing
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09 Feb 2010, 1:54 pm

I have a younger NT sister...(by 4 years)
Throughout our whole upbringing there was always the issue of her being more normally developed than me...both mentally and physically..
Since I was sorta emotionally stunted, my friends liked her better, my relatives liked her better, she had more reciprocal relationships with my cousins..I was a source of embarrassment to her and she could be really cruel sometimes. To this day, we never talk to each other..



angelbear
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09 Feb 2010, 2:19 pm

This thread has helped! My husband and I are trying to decide whether to adopt a child or not. I am taking all of these posts into consideration. Ursaminor, I agree that we won't know whether or not my son will have a happy or sad experience. However, hearing that many of the posters were annoyed by their siblings, makes me feel a little better that things have worked out the way they have. At this point, my son seems quite happy to be alone. He has never mentioned wanting a brother or sister.

I guess my interest in adoption is to fulfill my own desire to have more than one child. However, as time goes by, I am beginning to see that it may be in my son's best interest to let him be an only child. Hopefully, he will learn interaction through school and with my friends children, as he also seems to have no desire to make friends at this point either.

Thanks for the input.



irishaspie
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09 Feb 2010, 2:45 pm

i hate my siblings


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Callista
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09 Feb 2010, 2:46 pm

My younger sisters didn't make things any better or any worse. My NT middle sister and I fought--with only two years between us we had plenty to fight about--but she gave as good as she got; and when things were peaceful, we cooperated pretty well. My meltdowns were never directed against anyone else, so I never hurt her. I think I got more attention; but a lot of that was negative attention because my mom married a sociopath when I was about twelve, and I didn't know how to walk on eggs around him and pretend I believed his lies; so I got to be his target. My sister wound up learning to hide; I never did. I think if we hadn't had that jackass of a man in our lives, we'd have both been fine. It wasn't autism that ever hurt me or my sister; it was that I was born with a big "Kick Me" sign on my back, and a brain that insisted on everybody following the rules.

My littlest sister is eleven years younger than me, and she feels more like my niece than my sister. She's definitely not been hurt by my presence, nor I by hers. We coexisted for five years before I left for college, I helped take care of her, watched her learn to speak and learn to read at three, and now she's in her teens and showing the same autistic traits I have. I think having a known autistic for a sister has clued her in about why she's different, and why she's OK that way. Mom won't take her for diagnosis, and home-schools her so she won't go to public school. (She did the same for me.)

One of my mom's arguments as to why two psychologists, two counselors, two psychiatrists, and a neuropsychiatrist are wrong about me having autism is that I played with my sister as a child. But then, she'd probably take any excuse, because if I have autism, she has to admit to her own autistic traits, and she's still too stuck in the "disability=tragedy" trap to admit that.


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