Gaps and Limited Resources [For Autism Siblings]
As autism siblings grow up, there are limited resources for them a they navigate the world, home, community, and sibling relationships.
As they get older, they are frequently more involved in the caregiving aspects of supporting their autistic sibling as an adult. Right now, there are no studies examining the effects of this change, but as more autistic individuals grow up, this will become an alarming need.
But we do know that autism siblings can be involved (at varying levels, of course) in their autistic siblings' lives. And few know what to do to support their autistic sibling into adulthood and beyond.
One solution to this issue is to find ways to be in an autism community.
Autism Communities as a Resource
Autism communities in person and online can be great ways to discover resources and supports, connect with other families, and get the support they need to navigate the day-to-day and planning ahead with any challenges that may arise.
However, a lot of these communities are centered around the autistic siblings themselves and on parents' needs. These are certainly important areas to focus on and support. But, being an autism sibling is its own unique experience. An experience worth creating its own space and community.
Being an autism sibling is an experience worth creating its own space and community.
Autism Sibling Communities
Just like with autism sibling resources, and even more so, these are far and few between. Sibling resources tend to lean towards siblings of individuals with disabilities, which can be an amazing place to meet more siblings with a diverse array of experiences and perspectives. But, being an autism sibling is more specific and can be a totally different experience at times. Sometimes it's nice to dive deeper to find autism specific communities.
That's why we started the Autism Sibling Network. In order to meet the needs specific to autism siblings, especially as they grow up and support their autistic sibling, this is the community to be in.
Finding a community you align with can answer your questions and fill in the gaps when it comes to resources and supports. They can give you ideas, information, and inspiration through candid conversations in what it means to be an autism sibling today.
Your autism sibling experience is entirely unique to you and your sibling or perhaps siblings, but I'm sure there are overlapping concerns to a number of areas, including what does your role look like when your autistic sibling grows up, taking on a caregiving role wherever you live, and strategies to support your autistic sibling in finding a meaningful and fulfilled live.