Being the parent of a child with autism can be extremely demanding. Meeting the demands of a child that is autistic can be very time consuming, especially if you have other children. Many parents find themselves struggling with the needs of an autistic child and the needs of the family as a whole. It is important to maintain a balance between caring for your autistic child and taking care of the family, while maintaining your sanity at the same time.
The stress that a sibling of an autistic child may be coping with should not be discounted. The stress that parents feel is most likely felt by the other children in the household as well, yet a lot will depend on the age of the sibling. They might be ashamed of their brother or sister's autistic behavior. They may also not understand why their sibling does not respond to them when they try to communicate.
In the case of a much older child, they may even have concerns about who will be responsible for their autistic sibling when their mother and father are deceased. While many times parents tend not to pay attention to the feelings of the other children when it comes to serious issues, these should not be overlooked. Children of all ages can have very real concerns and can feel like no one cares if these concerns are not addressed.
Many struggles with autism happen simply because individuals do not understand exactly what autism is and how to better deal with it. Other children in the family may need special attention when the disorder is being explained, especially when they are very young. When the disorder is being explained it is best to break it down to the age level of the children you are explaining it to.
It is also best to anticipate any questions that they might have. If they have seen reactions of other individuals to their autistic sibling, then they may question why people act a certain way around people with the disorder. Having good knowledgeable information and being prepared for these types of questions will put you ahead of the game.
No matter how well the family comes together to deal with autism, struggles can arise. Being completely informed about this disorder and ways that you can deal with any issues can be a life saver when they do arise.
It is important for the whole family, including other children, to ask questions and to try and understand any feelings that they may have regarding the issue. When working together as a family, any obstacles can be overcome, even those dealing with autistic disorders.