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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!



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Dear Dish-It in the forums

Kirsteeeeen posted in Friends:
Maybe he likes you, as a friend or as more.
reply about 1 hour
Kirsteeeeen posted in Friends:
Friends grow apart as we grow up and change at different rates. It's fine to stop being friends, but it doesn't have to be in a mean way. The best thing to do is talk to her (nicely). You don't have to tell her she's being childish or you feel as if you've matured more. That would be terrible. Talk about things you guys like to do in common or make plans to try new things together. Or don't mention it at all, but don't just begin ignoring her. Eventually the friendship will fade the less time you spend together. 
reply about 3 hours
Amalegend20 posted in Friends:
You should be nice to her. If you have to break the news gently don't make her feel bad just talk to her about and see what she says  
reply about 17 hours
hugebear posted in Friends:
My bff and I were best friends but weve grown apart im getting older and she still wants to do kid stuff I have new friends now I feel like im being mean to her but like doesn't she get the memo I feel both guilty and mad:} Gosh.... put the shoe on  the other foot and see how would you feel if your bff done this on you. You has been bffs for the long time [Im guessing] and your maturing faster than her.  I agrees you are being mean to her if you doesnt discuss how your feeling with her and ignoring / avoiding her or whatever your doing.    She has been the good friend to you and she deserves to understand if you is growing up faster than her.  I really feels sad for how she could be feeling right now. She didnt do anything wrong.  You changed. Not her. Please be nice to your friend/ex friend and let her down gently [if you really has to] ^^ Me opinion  
reply 1 day
Desiixx posted in Friends:
Don't worry about it. Friends grow apart. That's how things go. Just talk to her about it, she'll understand. 
reply 1 day

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