The content in this section is closely adapted, with permission, from the Organization for Autism Research Brothers, Sisters, and Autism resource guide for parents and caregivers. View the document in its entirety at

For a child or teen with autism, his longest lasting relationship will likely be with a neurotypical sibling or siblings. These lifelong friends, future advocates, and potential caretakers (depending on support needs and life circumstances) need guidance and support from parents. It starts with a positive framework for teaching siblings about how autism impacts their brother or sister, teaching healthy coping skills to address difficult situations or emotions, being aware of opportunities for mutual fulfillment, encouraging bonding, and making everyone feel special.

Siblings might ask about autism if they’ve heard you use the term, but they’re more likely to ask about what their brother or sister is doing (ie, behaviors). There is no “perfect time”...

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