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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!

PSS

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!

 

Thanks,

Dear Dish it

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Dear Dish-It In The Forums

SmartSunnyShadow
I feel like that too. My best friend will always hang out with her 'new friends' that I have a really bad opinion about. My friend will treat me rudely all the time and sometimes make fun of me with her friends. But, when I needed her the most in my life, she was there for me, and I told her how I felt. She says that she just wants to hang out with more people and apologized, people can be a little teasy at times.  Also, after seeing each other for a long time, people make new friends and start hanging out with them more, it doesn't mean that she doesn't like you.  This may be different for you, but just tell her about it, she will have to know you feelings at one point.  Hope I helped you. 
reply about 2 hours
country_girl19
country_girl19 posted in Friends:
Nothing happened between us. I just feel like I'm not important to her.
reply about 3 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Friends:
Did something happen between you two in the past? If so, I feel like she might have some unresolved issues with you that you need to discuss with her. And, time doesn't always mean a lot. I've gotten closer to someone before compared to someone whom I had known for 8 years.
reply about 22 hours
country_girl19
country_girl19 posted in Friends:
Dear Dish-it,                          Me and my friend just started talking again, and it seems like she regrets it. She'll leave me for the people she has only known for a couple of months, when I've been friends with her for a year. Also, she gets annoyed with me, and I don't know what to do.
reply about 22 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Family Issues:
I'll be honest, I don't think that it's very fair that you're placing so much blame on your mother. Cancer is very hard to heal in any animal or person. She may of been able to help one spot, but that doesn't mean that she was going to be able to heal the rest. There's a slim chance that they could of made it through, but it's probably for the best that she put him down. Cancer is a painful thing to go through for dogs and humans alike. It would of been worse to push it. As for the depression, I understand where you're coming from with it. It's a difficult thing to go through and it makes things hard to do. I've struggled with things in the past and sometimes still do, so take my word on this: Eat. What. You. Can. Don't starve yourself. Don't binge. Don't do anything. Keep eating. Your health matters too. You need to find things to do, like hobbies (drawing, reading, writing, ect.) and spend time with friends when you can. At least talk to your friends, don't push them away. They're there for you, even when they might not know how to be. Don't be ashamed to cry, it's perfectly fine too. It's a better alternative of getting things out than a lot of things you could be doing. Do not, under any circumstances, start cutting. Take it from someone who's dealt with it on a personal level in several ways, do not start it. It is not something you "won't get addicted too" and it will not be a "one time thing." Do not try it. Do not start it. Do not try to find "softer" alternatives to cutting. Self-harm is not a fixer, it does not help anything. It isn't something to be ashamed of. It's a personal issue along with mental illness. But it is a very big deal. "And to go and kill him like that instead of getting him help?" There isn't always a place to help. Sometimes it won't do the things we wish it would.
reply 1 day