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sinagua
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18 Dec 2007, 12:57 pm

BugsMom wrote:
sinagua wrote:
One is enough for us. We got a bit of pressure to have "just one more", "for him to have someone to play with" - but that presumes he actually WOULD play with a sibling, and we have our doubts. Now that he's about to turn 9 and we're about to hit our 40's, people have stopped badgering us to have another, thank god. He is more than enough - we know our limitations. Another kid would've killed us and we felt it wouldn't have been fair to the second child.

/your mileage may vary


I absolutely agree. One is enough for us too, though it doesn't stop my parents from dropping hints!


I just don't think there's any one formula that magically works for everyone. We really felt that having another child would put more strain on us than we could bear. My husband was adamantly against having any more kids, even when I was willing to have "just one more" because everyone said it was unfair not to give our son a sibling.

I think it's just good to know your limits. For us, personally, with our individual issues and coping skills and anxiety/depression issues, it would've been a very foolish thing to have more children. In an ideal world, if my husband and I didn't already have lots of "issues," and weren't largely alienated from our families, we would most likely have had one more child. But we don't live in that ideal world; we have to make our decisions based on this one.



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18 Dec 2007, 1:25 pm

Have another child, if you want one. Having a sibling has pro's and con's. It depends on you, not what your mom says. It won't cure your daughter's sensory problems to have a sibling though.

I was afraid of having another child on the spectrum and I didn't have another child. Some days, I regret that. Some days, I don't. I'm almost 40 now, so I'm enjoying the family we have now and trying not to think about the "what if's"



Jennyfoo
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18 Dec 2007, 2:18 pm

It all depends on what YOU want and what you're comfortable with. For me, I think that having siblings is one of the best things for my AS daughter. I think if it were not for them, she would be much more in her own little world, retreating into her shell, and closing out the outside world. When she is away from her sibs, she retreats very much into her own world - did when she visited my dad for 2 weeks over the summer, does when her brother and sister are at G-ma's house, etc. They have also helped her learn to deal with a lot of her sensory issues because she was forced to learn how to handle lots of affection, lots of noise, etc.

She has also developed strong attachments to her siblings. She is not an affectionate child, but she is with her little brother and sister. She is very considerate of them, often involves them in her own little world when she does go there. She also shares a room with her sister which is forcing her to learn to get along and live with other people better IMO.

I am very glad that I had 5 siblings growing up. They really helped me in many ways to come out of my own shell and be more involved in the world outside of my own head. 2 of them are also AS.



KimJ
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18 Dec 2007, 5:01 pm

It really is an individual choice. Like sinagua, my little family has been alienated from extended family and babysitters. That makes a big difference. My husband and I have been on just a few dates because we don't have babysitters.

My own brother and I didn't get along for most of our childhood. So, I didn't enjoy having a sibling.



PersonalEnigma
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18 Dec 2007, 5:43 pm

I waited until now to add a second child (my son is 8 and my daughter is 2 months). It gave me lots of time with my son, and now, with him in school, I have lot of time for my daughter. My son also adores his sister and loves to help out with her.



Mommamo
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19 Dec 2007, 2:38 am

This is definitely a personal decision, and seems like it could go either way. For us, little sister is the greatest gift ever to her Aspie brother. Sure, they divide our attention and frequently pester each other, but our son has learned so many positive social skills from having a little sister. He gets to be "in charge" with her, which we know many Aspies really love. It's funny because there are so many times when we think he just doesn't get what we are telling him (because he appears to ignore us), but then he goes around telling her the same thing in an appropriate context, so we know it is sinking in. It will be interesting to see how their relationship develops as they get older (they are now 5 and 2), but for now having a sibling is working out really well. Also, since he is delayed in some respects, they make good playmates, like similar toys, etc.



dadof2
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19 Dec 2007, 5:11 am

saspurrific wrote:
My daughter was just diagnosed with Sensory integration disorder, she is 27 months old. No one in my family has had this , so this whole topic is new for me. My mother told me to give her a sibling as soon as possible, that this will help her tremendously. My concern is the chances of my next being an Nt or another child with spectrum . Is their a high risk ?

Very confused mom


The only thing I can say is that it is EXTREMELY hard work having 2, I think having such a small age gap would put a lot of pressre on you, but at the end of the day its your decision and its up to you. I would give it a lot of thougt xx



Merriweather18
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19 Dec 2007, 10:55 am

Like many have said before me, it's really a personal choice of what you think you can handle, but if you feel the inclination for another child, it can be a very positive thing!

I had my daughter when my son was two-and-a-half. Six months later we began the diagnostic process with my son. Having the two of them is definitely a challenge, as my daughter appears NT, and is much more demanding than my son ever was as a toddler. He was so complacent and self-entertaining that we are kind of 'in shock' when she began to use her primary form of communication...yelling. :? There are days when the two of them melting down simultaneously drives me to pray for bedtime; she gets upset when he's upset, he gets upset when she cries, and it escalates from there.

But, on the positive side, we also seem to have created our own miniature social skills instructor, because he responds to her in ways that he doesn't seem to respond to other kids. For instance, if she is upset, he will tell her "It's okay, Shannon. I'm here." As he reaches out to touch her hand. They wrestle together, and he loves to make her laugh, although his volume usually gets out of control. So, although much of his speech is delayed echolalia, he is really good at placing the correct phrase in a situation. By watching how we treat his sister, I think he is learning how he should treat other children.

I grew up with an older brother who has what we now call Tactile Defensiveness. He also has some other mildy autie/aspie traits, like an absolutely astounding memory, difficulty with small motor skills, insistence on sameness (I think he wore the same baseball hat every day for a year) and high visual/spatial intelligence. I can tell you that it was nice having a built in playmate, on family vacations when we didn't know any other kids, or on days when we couldn't go out to play with our friends, or even when our parents were being strict and we thought it unfair, we were always had eachother. I hope that my kids can develop a similar relationship.

So seriously consider what you can handle, but I can definitely say that there are many advantages to having a sibling.



kitsunetsuki
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19 Dec 2007, 10:52 pm

I really can't say for your situation what would be best , but in our case having a second child was really quite helpful for our son, they are about three years apart he is more HFA(they say aspergers now but he didn't really speak till three and a half) and she aspie(she aquired language very early) they both acquired language at about the same time and were very close in emotional development and seem very like twins with a three year separation in age.i sometimes think without her he would never be as good as he is now at interacting with others also he is very empathetic with her , others not so much but i think it is a good thing . In ways they live in their own world with sort of their own code language for things which is cute.We would like another ourselves but is seems unlikely.



Odrixs
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22 Dec 2007, 8:17 pm

Thank you to all have given me great advise, I still strongly consider a second child, even If she ends up having AS or NT, we will do our best, both my husband and I. Two can probably handel two. :)



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23 Dec 2007, 12:31 am

I just want to say i grow up with two older nt brothers, for me my brothers are my heroes. My oldest brother was about 5 years older then me, he was my best friend, he taught me so much, and i'm so thankful to even have that. Having siblings are a huge thing, especially for a child with autism, who has no friends, and can't relate to ppl, at least at the end of the day, my brother would sit right next to me and help me line up my toys, and gave me the best bear hugs. I don't think i would be where i am today if it wasn't for them.


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23 Dec 2007, 10:37 am

I'd suggest waiting another six months to a year and then reviewing the situation. Two kids usually means four times the work of having one but there are also plenty of advantages to having a sibling. Just don't expect them to automatically get on together as sibling rivalry is common.


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mom2bax
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26 Dec 2007, 1:08 am

i absolutely agree that it is a personal decision and want to share my experiences and hope they help.
i have 2 kids 19 months apart, older son 4 is dx AS younger one is 2 1/2 and is NT.
she brought him into her imaginary play and now he tries to do it, where as when he is alone he doesn't really do it. i also afree that it forces him to learn to deal with stuff that other kids may do to him that he may not like and provides many teaching opportunities that may have not otherwise come up.
i always think of something i heard somewhere that many children who were only children either grow up and have at least 2 children or none.
i understand feeling tapped out with a child who has different needs but i really think she helps him and me, that being said there are days when having two is completely overwhelming, and i often have less than stelllar parenting moments, but it is a learning process for all of us.
please note i am not implying that only children are miserable or disadvantaged.
however, i really notice a difference among those kids i work with who have siblings vs those who do not, and they are for the most part more considerate of others than the only children becasue they have had to learn to be.
again i hope this helps in your decision making process



runswithscissors
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20 Jan 2008, 1:37 pm

There is a higher chance than average of another child with a spectrum disorder, but that's not necessarily going to happen to you. I have one friend with an NT daughter, a profoundly autistic son and an NT daughter (in that order) and another with an Aspie daughter and a younger, NT son. I myself have an Aspie son and 4 younger children, none of whom is on the spectrum.

One of the things that I have noticed is that as my son gets older, he is learning how to cope with other children better. He is 17 now. I have another friend with one Aspie child, a boy who is 14, and he has a harder time with other kids than my son did at the same age. The siblings of these kids, especially the younger ones, are amongst the kindest children I have ever known. My second son has an anxiety disorder and one of the children who has always been kind to him and included him with other kids has an autistic sibling. My own teenage daughter is planning to work with spectrum kids at a day camp this summer to see if special ed is what she wants to do for a living. It's not an easy life sometimes for the sibs, but they benefit and bring something to the spectrum sibling that parents can't.



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20 Jan 2008, 8:19 pm

I hated my older sister - she was second to my mom on my list of people I seriously wanted to kill. Most of the animosity there was because my older sister was an instigator and my parents automatically took her word as truth for everything. My mom even used to say she knew my sister was telling the truth because "the youngest one always lies." I wouldn't have gotten in 1/5 the trouble I did if not for my sisters lying and parents automatic acceptance of whatever she said
My younger siblings were alright - they were 8 and 9 years younger than me. I described my sister is being a "mediator" and a really nice person but who I didn't have a single thing in common with. I was close to my little brother until I moved out of home

I lived with my dad, and my siblings lived with my mom but for the last 5 years I was at home their houses were next door to each other. I'd get mad at my mom when she'd look at the snowman I built at 26 years old and ask why I didn't call my siblings to build one. I wouldn't have been building it alone at my house if I wanted someone to build it with me, now would I?

i do miss my brother, but not so much i'm willing to see the parents who abused/neglected me. I plan on looking him up after he leaves for college this fall. If he's willing to forgive me for pretty much having nothing to do with him, aside from the yearly birthday card for these past 7 years, I think we could have a great relationship. I also think he's an aspie though.

As for my little sister, if she wasn't related to me, I'd likely have nothing to do with her. She is just too outgoing, social, bubbly, upbeat and talkative for me. i consider her a prep though she says she hates preps