All About My Son: Siblings of Children with Autism

Siblings of children with autism @allpastmidnight

Sometimes it seems like I spend a lot of time talking about Wee Girl on this blog and never about Little Man. I’m sorry for that, because Little Man is just as important in his own way, and sometimes it feels like all my time is being taken up with other things, while he trundles along after me.

He makes me laugh, my son, although I can tell he’s going to be a handful when he gets older. He is cheeky, mischievous and he gets into everything. He points, brings me things repeatedly to show me (‘Ooh, a half-chewed chunk of apple, thank you!’), tries to feed me peas. When I hoover, unlike his sister hiding her face on the sofa, he is chasing me around the house.

Siblings of children with autism @allpastmidnight
He gets angry, and bashes things with both hands when frustrated. He walloped his dad last night because he didn’t give Little Man a sip of orange juice quickly enough. He’s going to be demanding in a way that Wee Girl never really was (although she had her moments believe me). He’s going to be the sort of boy who rolls around on the floor of the supermarket because I just refused to buy him that magazine. Something to look forward to.

He says ‘uh oh,’ and ‘hiya’ and he’s waving, and I am relishing all the moments I haven’t been able to have with his sister yet. I am also enjoying seeing their relationship develop. It’s subtle, and it might be easy to miss if you’re not looking for it, but she makes sure she kisses him good night every night. When they were in the bath together the other day, she dripped shampoo on his hair and lathered it up without having to be prompted. She’s showing an interest in changing his nappy, and has gone from crying if he’s on the swing to trying to push him.

Siblings of children with autism @allpastmidnight
It’s lovely to see, but the converse of that is how Little Man feels about her, and how he will continue to feel about her as they both grow older. We are immensely lucky in that Wee Girl has no behavioural issues. I’m aware these could start to appear as she grows up, but I am hopeful that she is a happy, calm, contented girl and that her school will be supportive. Not all neurotypical siblings are as lucky as Little Man. Many themselves have to become carers out of necessity, or have siblings who exhibit violent behaviour when distressed.

Even though Wee Man is not in that position, I still wonder what his relationship with his sister will be like in the years to come. I hope they will be close, that they will look after and support each other. I hope they will want to spend time together, that they will play together rather than just alongside. There is so much they can learn from each other and I hope, that they will be friends for the rest of their lives.

Siblings of children with autism @allpastmidnight
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About allpastmidnight

Hi, I'm Alison, I am a mid-thirties mum to two children, Little Man and Wee Girl. Wee Girl is pre-verbal and has autism, while Little Man is the sort of happy chatty little guy who gets into everything and sings at the top of his lungs ā€” until the moment he makes eye contact with a stranger and he goes silent. I am cynical, sweary, and a bit disorganised, and I blog about parenting, ASD, food and just about anything else I can think of. Feel free to follow me on any of my social media. I can also be contacted by email at allpastmidnight [at] outlook [dot] com.
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8 Responses to All About My Son: Siblings of Children with Autism

  1. Silly Mummy says:

    He sounds like a real little character and looks so cheeky! I think actually in any sibling relationship you wonder if they will be close and if they will be very different. The great thing about kids is how adaptable and accepting they are – I think children will tend to just accept a sibling with autism as they are because that is the way it has always been for them. And I would think that maybe that would make them very close, because your son will be the person who never expects your daughter to be anything different to who she is, he will always understand because he has never known anything else? #justanotherlinky

    • Oh god, cheeky is the word for him. He’s a climber (a lot like his sister) and we get through so many apples because he climbs onto the table and takes a chunk out of every single one. Shouts of ‘No, Little Man. The melon is not a football’ are commonplace here.

      I think you’re right about the rest of it. It may be harder as chances are that they will have to go to different schools (Wee Girl’s new school is bloody miles away), but that’s a bridge that doesn’t have to be crossed for the minute. It may even help their relationship; who knows?

  2. This is so lovely. He sounds like a real character and such a boy. I have two boys and they are so strong willed, hard at times, but so much fun on others. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

    • He’s tough in some ways, a real softie in others, and he’s also very shy around strangers, although this is gradually improving. He’s definitely a character though, and can be so cheeky, giving you that little grin just before he’s about to do something he knows he’s not supposed to. Thanks for visiting.

  3. kylesyco says:

    What a wonderful post. I think all parents of siblings hope the same things for their children in terms of being able to play together and support each other as they get older. There will be challenges, but they also have so much to teach one another as they grow. His little smile is just fabulous šŸ™‚

    • Thank you. I really do think they’ll get on well as they get older; my daughter is fairly calm and relaxed, although I think he’ll be the troublemaker. I’m sure they’ll have their scraps though.

  4. Beth says:

    He is so adorable!
    I am so glad you linked up to my linky last week. My youngest has some behavioural problems, and she throws herself on the floor if she doesn’t get what she wants, she is so impatient that she will scream the place down, she will happily run in the middle of the road and act overly spoilt. She will bite, hit, scratch and kick!

    Thanks so much for linking up with #justanotherlinky

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