Hello- First I am trying to learn more so that I can me an ally to my niece with autism. We have a good relationship but I know I need to learn more to make sure she feels included when playing with my girls.
My question is regarding family vacations and what is expected of extended family. Recently we went on a family vacation with my sister, her husband, niece, nephew, my family, and my brother and his family. Everyone was getting along great the first day then, my sister started putting rules on what everyone could do to make sure my niece would always be included. The kids could not play football because my niece did not understand the rules, she was upset when we did not send our kids to bed early because her daughter needed so many hours of sleep, she wanted the kids to follow her daughters diet because her daughter does not respond well when she has sugar. If my niece wanted to do something (even though none of the other kids, including her son, wanted to do it) she guilted everyone into doing that. So my question is, am I not being fair because I grew frustrated and my kids are starting to resent their cousin or do I need to do a better job at being more inclusive when on vacation?
Also, I did talk to my sister about how we are all on vacation and while I agree we need to do things that my niece can do and eat, my children are also on vacation and should be able to do what they want as well. Her response was that it is not fair to her daughter that my kids got to stay up a bit later, have desserts with sugar, and when my niece is with her family, she should always be included and made comfortable.
Is she sure that the kid even wants to spend all day with her cousins? The majority of autistic kids are natural lurkers in corners. Some time with other people is fun, if it's going well, but then we need a bit of peace and quiet to digest what's just happened. Maybe she should be with your kids in the mornings and then her mum can take her off by herself in the afternoons, or vice versa. Then your kids can do things her way some of the time and their own way some of the time, which seems more fair from their point of view. Just a suggestion, not knowing any of you or what kind of place you're staying in I couldn't swear that that would work, but it's worth a look.