Life as the Sibling of a Child with Autism

Children with Autism may negatively affect their siblings (Photo by Flickr/Gensling)

Sleepless nights and constant physical struggles are just some of the hardships parents go through when raising a child with autism. While the parents certainly have their hands full caring for him or her, what they may fail to recognize is the affect their actions have on the siblings of children with autism.

A study published in the March issue of the journal Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities by the University of Oregon’s school psychology program discovered that the siblings of children with autism are more prone to develop hyperactivity, among other autism characteristics.

Laura Lee McIntyre, the professor and director of the University of Oregon’s school psychology program explains that “We know there are risk factors, but we don’t know if they result from having a child with autism, or if there are genetic predispositions as part of the broader autism picture.”

Much like the various possibilities of a cause, the results of the study show that the childrens behavior, in certain settings, yielded various observations.

McIntyre commented; “Parents didn’t report seeing such things at home. Teachers see these children in a more structured environment. Siblings of children with autism may be at heightened risk for developing problems, potentially over time.”

This autism research has provided observations that show the clinical problems siblings of children with autism may face in addition to the emotional neglect they may experience as well. As a result, families affected by autism will have more issues to address than other families.

For more information on this story, please check back. The International Center for Autism Research and Education (ICare4Autism) will continue to post on this topic, as new details are received.

Official link to this autism news website: www.icare4autism.org

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