The brothers and sisters of our neurodiverse children are amazing.
They will often have a completely unique relationship – understanding and interpreting their sibling’s experiences better than anyone. And research shows that having a SEND sibling can help children be more tolerant, more resilient, more understanding and accepting of others and many other valuable traits and attributes.
These are often hard won, and we know that managing complex sibling relationships and balancing the differing needs of everyone in the family can at times be one of the most challenging aspects of autism and ADHD parenting.
For #NationalSiblingsDay2022 we pulled together some of our favourite tips for supporting the siblings of neurodiverse children:
- Talk to them and educate them honestly, openly and age-appropriately
- Prioritise ‘special time’
- Help them express their feelings, empathise and accept them without judgement
- Involve school so they are aware of the situation and also treat them as ‘individuals’
- Find activities you can enjoy as a family
- Encourage independent activities, empower them to choose to spend time apart if that’s what they want
- Seek help to address any issues affecting their wellbeing
- Create a support network for them
- Celebrate their achievements
If there are siblings in your family that need more support Carers in Hertfordshire has a Young Carers group
The charity Sibs – for brothers and sisters also has lots of advice and resources
And don’t forget siblings are welcome to join their brothers and sisters at SPACE events and activities.