Dear Dish-It: My Brother is Autistic

Apr 23, 2012

Dear Dish-It,

I have an autistic brother who doesn’t feel comfortable anywhere. At school he sits by himself, so I always ask him if he wants to sit with me and my friends. Anyone who’s a jerk to him either doesn’t know he's autistic or they just don’t care, so I’m always protective. He always comes to me for advice and I’m one of the few people he’s comfortable being around. It’s not that I’m getting sick of it – I really enjoy his company. But are there ways to get him to be more comfortable about everything? I’d like to see him some day sitting with his friends and inviting me over – that’d be awesome!


Dear PSS,

Wow, it sounds like you’re a really great sibling to your brother! I think that you are doing everything right so far – including your brother in the things that you do and making sure that he doesn’t feel alone or left out is a great way to show him that you love and support him, no matter what.

In terms of helping him to be more comfortable in social situations on his own, I suggest you speak to your parents or family doctor about what you can do. Maybe there’s even a counselor at your school who knows something about autism and can give you some advice. There are also some great books out there written especially for kids who have autistic siblings; I strongly suggest checking some of these out from the library (ask the librarian to help you find them, or look on your local library’s computer system) or reading similar information online to get more tips from the experts.

Last but not least, if it’s possible and you haven’t tried it before, how about speaking directly to your brother about what he would find helpful in terms of making him feel better being in certain social situations? Or maybe ask him if there are any special activities or things that the two of you can do together that he would really enjoy … having you there to support him may make him feel better and more confident about himself around other people.

Like I said, I think you’re doing a great job being a caring support for your big brother; he’s certainly lucky to have you in his life, and I’m sure you feel the same way about him! It may take some patience and a lot of support and encouragement, but in time I am sure you and your brother can go a long way in helping him to find his own place in the world!

Have Your Say

Got any good advice for PSS? Leave your comment below!



Dear Dish it

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Dear Dish-It in the forums

EndlessDream posted in Friends:
Hmmm....Then she mustn't be necessarily "using" you, if she is not getting something in return ( As far as we know of). However, It does sound like she is being extremely unfair. That just might be how she is. Not exactly loyal to anyone. Well, try to talk to her about it and tell her how you feel. And, if it doesn't work out, then she might not be a great friend to hang around with, and maybe you will find someone else who enjoys your company. I hope this helps, and good luck :)
reply about 2 hours
XxIHateMathxX posted in Friends:
No not really. Like I said, one minute she's all smiley and then she doesn't even look at me. Most of the time I see her with Daniela and Andrea. Today she was asking me if I was going to hang out with her, Daniela, Andrea and Luisa during recess. When I told her that I was 'going to have to think' she was like, "Whatever." and ran off to catch up with the Threesome. Thanks. :)
reply about 2 hours
EndlessDream posted in Friends:
Is she asking you to do things for her? Like help with homework, carry her books and so on?
reply about 2 hours
XxIHateMathxX posted in Friends:
This is gonna be long:   I have this 'friend' Amelia. She and I bonded really fast last year and we've become inseparable.   But lately she's blowing me off and my other best friend Belen told me: Amelia is actually using you. She does this to new kids at school, especially from foreign countries. She thinks because you're Chinese and the Chinese teacher's daughter, you'll help her. She's also using you as a backup friend - a substitute. There's this new girl Daniela, who Amelia thinks is her new best friend. She thinks that when Daniela stop hanging out with her, she'll have you.   The thing is, Daniela is pretty nice and she probably doesn't know all the trouble she's causing. Belen's old 'best friend' Andrea is doing the same to her.   I also learned that Amelia is seemingly the 'most popular girl in school' because she's mean to everyone. She always passes by the little kids' classrooms and hugs them & stuff. They seem to love her, but now I know it's because they think if they're nice they won't get bullied.   Maybe she WAS using me but I dunno. Belen says that each kid in the entire school has a bad story about Amelia and something she did to them. I said, "Then how was she so nice to me last year?" Then Belen was all like, "She was using you."   I don't know if she's telling the truth. She and Amelia are deadly enemies and she might be making up the whole Amelia story just to get back at her. Although Amelia has been dropping a few signs that she IS using me as a substitute friend.   Sometimes when I walk in, she'll be like "OOOOHHH! CASSANDRA! HI! HOW ARE YOU! C'MON, LOOK AT THIS! WE'RE GONNA HAVE SOOOO MUCH FUN TOGETHER ..."   And other times I'm like, "Hey, Amelia!" and she says, "Oh. Huh? Yeah, hi ..."  Once during PE we had to sit down and on the way to the gym, she was chatting with me in a BBBBFFFF way. But then when we had to partner up she said with Andrea, Daniela and someone else who I forgot.   I don't know what to do. It's just so weird. Even though now I know she MIGHT be using me (I'm not sure if she really is) it just seems WEIRD. Even for a supposed ##### she was my possibly fake best friend for the whole of last year. It's WEIRD to suddenly switch.   I don't even know if this should be happening. We've only just started 5th grade. Doesn't this WEIRD #### start happening around middle school? Thank you, everyone who will help in advance. P.S. Please include flirting advice. - A Girl Who Might Just Lose Her Possibly Fake Best Friend
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