Was having an NT sibling helpful to you?

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Alexmom
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16 Dec 2012, 4:19 am

I´m wondering if having a nt sibling (if you have one) has been positive/negative or neither.

I´m asking cos I have two boys, 20 months apart, the oldest about to be evaluated for AS now. His younger brother is as neurotypical as you could get I think, very social and communicative, not especially good at anything, just very even overall and developing normally.

I feel that if my older son didn´t have his younger brother, he wouldn´t be forced to interact as much, he would be left to sit in his own little world a lot more.

My younger son realized very early that his older brother didn´t always act as expected and when he was two years old he started replying for his older brother when he didn´t react to people talking to him.

What are your experiences? Is it a good or a bad thing? Can it be good to have a NT sibling as "support" in school or social environments? Is it taxing for the NT sibling?



League_Girl
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16 Dec 2012, 5:13 am

My brother always stood up for me and would lie to his friends to keep them out of my room and to keep them from touching my things. I can't believe I was so mean to him back then starting at four years old. Then I got nicer to him but I still had my moments. My youngest brother was pretty passive and he always looked up to our brother.


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redrobin62
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16 Dec 2012, 5:38 am

My siblings don't believe I have Asperger's. I told them of my diagnosis by a clinical psychologist who specializes in ASD but they still don't believe it. You can't win.



PTSmorrow
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16 Dec 2012, 5:42 am

My NT sister, though 12 years younger, is very helpful and supportive, mainly when I need an explanation on some differences. She can explain how a NT person would see or perceive things in a different way than someone with an ASD.



Shellfish
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16 Dec 2012, 6:06 am

My kids are still a little young I think, but my daughter appears to be extremely socially aware - I am hoping this will rub off and from what I have seen, my son tries to mimic others behaviour a fair bit.
Although, one of the mum's in my son's social groups said that her older NT son disguised her younger son's AS because he did everything for him - he would make friends for his brother, talk for him, play with him and so they weren't aware that he had difficulties because he never really had to try.


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Lesley1978
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16 Dec 2012, 4:46 pm

I read the book by Rodney Peete (American football player if you are not familiar) and he thinks siblings are great for his son.

I think it is good in my home, too.

Sometimes I have to separate my kids and that is frustrating, b/c my NT kids don't understand that they are provoking my son sometimes, b/c their actions are not ones that would normally be taken as provoking. We are working on that.



EB
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16 Dec 2012, 8:17 pm

I think it probably was good though I can't think of how off the top of my head. I wasn't diagnosed til I was an adult so we didn't know I was on the spectrum and my younger sister didn't understand or like that I was behind her developmentally. She seems okay with it now post diagnosis/marriage/moving away/etc.

I think a big part of what I didn't like had more to do with not knowing why I was different as a kid. I grew up thinking I was responsible for my 4 years younger sister when we were alone shopping apart from our mother when turns out she had been charged to take care of me by our mother (something I learned as an adult with is still painful to over think. I am prone to over thinking things and thus getting myself upset. :roll: ).

I also had a brother 2 - 2 1/2 years older than me, but my siblings and I aren't overly close. We don't dislike each other, we just aren't close.


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deltafunction
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16 Dec 2012, 8:30 pm

I think that my situation was unique in that my older sister had low self esteem and demanded attention from my parents. I don't know why, since I wasn't diagnosed back then, but she felt the need to pick on me. Now, the only reason why I am spared of her wrath is because she lives far away and doesn't talk to me anymore since I disclosed my diagnosis :shrug:



JustinsDad
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17 Dec 2012, 8:43 am

It's a mixture for my two sons. My 8yo is ASD/MR and very impulsive. He engages in a lot of sensory seeking behavior and rarely sits still, yet somehow he seems to be learning things finally. My 5yo seems to pick up things much more easily and is very sociable.

We've had wraparound services since thee little guy was in a bassinet so he's aware that his brother needs help and at times even plays the part of a TSS when they're alone.

OTOH, it's also been tough for both of them. When the younger one, came along and began to actively seek our attention, sibling rivalry set in in an alarming way and our older son (who was 4 at the time) would bite his little brother (who was only a toddler at the time) leaving nasty suckerfish looking bruises and sometimes even drawing blood.

The little guy developed a bad temper and as he's gotten older he will scream and lash out. He also exhibits some ADHD tendencies of his own (as well as try a few out from his brother's bag of tricks) and when he doesn't get his way becomes quite the Little Lord Fontleroy.

We had some warnings from the preschool and the kindergarten teacher about DS2 and may have to enroll him in some behavioral services too but I still don't believe that he could be on the spectrum. I think he's just tired of playing second fiddle to a special needs child who monopolizes everyone else's attention when both boys are around.



twinplets
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17 Dec 2012, 5:37 pm

I am so grateful that our family has turned out the way it has. My son is the oldest of our 5 kids.(by three whole minutes!) He has a very NT and brilliant twin brother who is one of the most mature and empathetic kids you could imagine. This child rarely gets frustrated with his AS twin. He is extremely tolerant of his brother. Since he is so mature, he has rarely annoyed his brother. Last year he did say that is gets embarrassed by his brother sometimes because some of the kids were making comments about his brother. We practiced what he should say to those kids and he has gotten them to stop, at least within his earshot. As far as support in school, I have always separated my boys in class. However, his twin has been extremely helpful in reminding his brother about when stuff is due, etc.

However, his younger sibs push his buttons easily. He has 2 sisters and another brother only 2 1/2 years younger than him (they are triplets). They can be loud and very rambunctious, so they have often gotten on his nerves. It was very difficult for several years feeling as though I lived in a social skills experiment with him and them at home; however, not that the younger ones are turning 8 1/2, and maturing, they get along most of the time now. My AS son is very outgoing. He joins lots of things and is never one to not be noticed. I truly think his siblings have been a positive force in his life.



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18 Dec 2012, 9:27 am

My dd is the youngest of 7, and now that she is 13 I see nothing but positives in the situation. In the first year after her dx (at nearly 12) I found it hard to navigate, because I spent a lot of time trying to persuade her siblings to accommodate her differences and make allowances for her in order to avoid meltdowns and instill some kind of order. I also thought I should parent her differently and that didn't really work for anyone, especially her. When I went back to my more natural ap habits we all talked a lot more and the atmosphere became much more positive. The kids are much better than I am at explaining how things work in the NT world and giving her perspective / theory of mind about themselves and her peers. Recently my older kids have made a lot of comments about how they wished they had been nicer to her when she was little, but I actually think that they were a pretty decent social skills group. She is much more connected and emotionally mature than I would have expected, and I think that's to their credit, not mine.
J.



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18 Dec 2012, 9:39 am

My younger brother has been a great support to me. He is a very sweet, caring boy, and he's my best friend as well as my sibling. We don't always get along, but my life would be so much poorer if he'd never been born.



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23 Dec 2012, 7:38 pm

It wasn't that helpful to me. I was always a little on the rebellious side and I've always had a mind of my own. I got along with her when we were both little. As we both got older, I started to become a little suspicious because I've learned that a lot of NT kids could be nasty and I had my stuff taken away by those kids from time to time. Each time my sister used a piece of Lego that I wanted, or took away one of my drawings, I didn't feel that I could trust her at all. One time at the age of 10 when the US was my special interest, she took away a map that I took hours tracing off a computer screen and ripped it in half. I knew I couldn't trust her anymore. She was also trying to get me to follow the latest trends at the time. This was between 1988 and 1993. I had no interest in teasing by bangs and rolling up my bell bottoms. It got to the point where I hated her as much as I hated my peers and she hated me as much as she hated the 60s.


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rapidroy
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30 Dec 2012, 5:45 pm

I've got 2 1/2 brothers both NT, there 1/2 my age (9/13) they often try to push me off the edge, playing on my sensery/social issues etc. They get a kick out o doing it. Dad and step-mon don't really get me so I don't expect my brothers will any time soon. they are far more socially advanced now then I and know how provoke a passanite responce, however I have learned pretty good debate and memery skills (thankfully) that when needed come in handy. Over time I have learned what they are doing and I just be quite and ignore, they will go away and move on, eventally and peace and happyness will will be restored for the time being.



BazzaMcKenzie
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30 Dec 2012, 6:28 pm

no


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LittleBlackCat
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30 Dec 2012, 9:38 pm

I have two younger siblings, separated from me in age by 4 and 6 years. I feel very strong feelings of love for them now that we are all adults but, although the two of them have remained quite close, I do not have much contact with either. I would like to see them more often but am not sure how to instigate things. I am not sure whether it is the gap in ages or something different about me that separates us but I always did feel like the odd one out at home growing up. I do realise that as adults those few years are not significant, but I have always been at a different life stage from them and even now have been married 7 years longer and have a 10 yo daughter while they are yet to have kids. I suppose every family is different.

In the UK we have an organisation called Young Carers which can help if siblings are finding things difficult. They can provide information, online support, one-to-one support, trips out and clubs with other carers Young Carers