Sibling support - advice please

Hi all,

Please can anyone advise on best way to support siblings or please share experiences so I don’t feel it’s just our family in this situation.

One of my children, age 12, is on the way to a diagnosis of ASD.  Aspergers, although I know there is no separate diagnosis for that now.  She’s in mainstream school, doing okay with support. 

At home all the behaviours come out.  I do my best to support my other children, managing her meltdowns, keeping them out of the way, making sure we alL have activities planned together or separately.  However they are struggling dealing with her and the impact she has on the whole family.  Her elder sister is crying  a lot because of her.

All constructive advice would be welcome please .

thanks’

  • I am sorry to hear your children are struggling.

    The meltdowns at home mean the needs are not being met at school. there is a need for more and different support at school. You need to pursue this and potentially consider a different school.

    Do you recieve DLA and Carer's Allowance?

    Theoretically you may ask for your needs assessment as a carer and this would reflect some of the needs of your other children.

    For the siblings, do you have anything like "Young carers" in your area?

  • Thanks for replying Tinyexplorer.

    I haven’t applied for DLA, maybe I should ? I would have thought as my daughter is in mainstream school that she wouldn’t qualify ? Also i work.   re Young Carers The siblings don’t do any caring for their sister at all, myself and my husband do the caring and looking after. 

    This is an example of one of the meltdowns this weekend, I had asked her to tidy her room.  She went straight into meltdown, wailing and hitting herself, shouting she’s not tidying she’s going in the shower.  Another meltdown today was because I suggested we go out for dinner for a change, again full on meltdown. Both of these meltdowns were because “the routine” was about to be changed.   Her younger sister cannot cope with seeing her hitting out at herself and the meltdowns are instantaneous so she usually sees some of this before we get her out of the room. 

    thanks for your reply. 

  • You need to address the issues with the school. There will be issues there if your daughter is so unsettled a home.

    A home you need t instill a predictable routine. For example you can schedule going our two weeks in advance. You can also weave tidying the room into weekly routine by introducing it with enough warning time. 

    Tidying is extremely difficult to my daughter too. She doesn't know where to start and the task is overwhelming. You could break it out for her, for example

    1. Pick up you closes and pu clean ones on the hangers an dirty ones in the laundry bag.

    etc

  • Thanks Tinyexplorer, you are so right and I am still learning. Thanks for your advice.

  • I am a mother of 3 grown up children, 2 son's and one daughter.Both son's are on the autistic spectrum, one diagnosed autistic, one aspergic,when they were young we had a respite carer,who looked after them so their sister had time by herself with us, it was very beneficial for her, not sure if this is still an option as this was about 10 years ago. Maybe you could find out if  available for your family.

  • Also siblings can be classed as young carers, and be given access to groups.

  • As others have mentioned the siblings are young carers and there's probably support available to them if you Google it or look at your local authority's local offer.

    It might be worth contacting Children's Services to see what support the Disabled Children's Team can provide for your family.

  • I'm a sibling and respite care was a godsend for me and my parents. I think what would also have helped me (though I never knew how to find it) was meeting other siblings. It would have been great to speak to someone my age who understood.

  • This is a website that is specifically aimed at supporting siblings, it even has an online chat: https://www.youngsibs.org.uk/