Yesterday in class we talked about some of the different ways having a child with autism can affect the family. You saw the video "'Fixing' Autism" about a dad and the effects of having his daughter, Bianca. It was a sweet and touching video, but remember the beginning? It was dark. He talked about all the therapies, the money, the stress on his marriage, the hurt his other children experienced... For these families, there can be much happiness but along with that comes a whole lot of pain.
Here is an article from a different father's perspective called "If You Only Knew". Again, like in the video, he starts with the hardships and ends with a very heartwarming story about his son playing basketball. After I was done reading this article I couldn't stop thinking about how cool it must have been for him as a dad, who never thought he would see his son with autism out on a basketball court, to finally have that opportunity. I imagine it must have been nerve-wracking and exciting all at the same time. He was probably just waiting for a meltdown of some sort. But to end up seeing his son score a basket?! You can tell he never expected to see that!
There is also a lot of research and articles’ coming out about the effects having a child with autism has on the other siblings. Along with the typical fighting and camaraderie typical siblings often have, there can be hurt, anger, jealousy, and on the opposite side, an access of love and patience.
Please read this article and watch this video as your overview into the world of siblings. You will notice the little boy that the woman speaks to openly talks about how hard it is and how he doesn't tell his parents that. In the article they go into some detail as to how parents can help their typical developing child's needs be met. It can be so hard for a family to balance the needs of all of their children, but with help and guidance, it can happen!
Finally (whew! A lot of reading and videos this week! Get started early!), watch this video (read the short article attached too) and this video. See the positives that can come out of having a sibling with autism? Do you see how caring and compassionate these brothers and sisters are? It probably took a lot for them to get to that point in their life. There are no guarantees that there will not be more difficult times for them in the future, but for now they seem pretty accepting of their sibling.
Next week we will read an article together that goes a little more in-depth about the side effects on siblings. This perspective is a little more negative though. I want to read it together so that we can think critically and discuss some of the pieces of the article. Even though the article has a more negative approach, it still has some very real aspects to having a sibling with autism, too.
Don't forget to check out the homework link to see what you will have to do with all of these videos and articles that you read. Have a great week. Let me know if you have any questions!