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Advice please - explaining ASD diagnosis to siblings

(10 Posts)
Sarraburd Tue 23-Oct-12 14:32:56

DS2 diagnosed ASD in June, aged
3.5.

They wouldn't say how severe except that it's not severe; we are attempting mainstream to start with but is v early days (an hour a day in the nursery attached to his siblibgs' school).

We have not yet told his siblings but are planning too soon (think they both realise something is up and are disturbed/need reassurance - DD aged 8 having alot of emotional blow ups; DS1 aged 5 having nightmares regularly). DH hadn't really wanted to say anything as he's a bit in denial and also somewhat on spectrum himself, so can't really see what all the fuss is about, it's going to be fine etc etc.

Anyway, have finally persuaded DH that we should say something.
Any advice on how to handle it, what to say, how to phrase things, any no-nos?

Further complication is that DH is keen to avoid labelling, but the DCs have already overheard me using the word autism talking to other adults.

Any thoughts/help much appreciated.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 23-Oct-12 21:41:40

I just used language like, DS2's brain is wired differently and he finds learning some things difficult, like language, sharing, waiting etc. But he's really good at, remembering facts about Doctor Who, birthdays etc. Just keep it in language they understand, truthful but not too specific?

Sarraburd Tue 23-Oct-12 22:22:12

Thanks EllenJane, that sounds good.

Forgot to say he was in and out of hospital for heart problems so reckon the DCs are worried we will be going through all that again.

CwtchesAndCuddles Wed 24-Oct-12 08:19:23

My DS was dx with asd at 3. We have always been very open and matter of fact about everything with dd who is 2 years older. We have also gone down the his brain works differently route and she understands that he is different and accepts he is who he is. She has more of an acceptance and understanding of autism than many adults!!
"Mummy come quick xxxx has put poo on the walls again" said in a very matter of fact tone..............

BsDad Wed 24-Oct-12 16:10:46

We used a book called 'My Brother is Different', which you can find on amazon and is quite useful.

I also have a PowerPoint presentation that Autism Outreach use in schools to explain 'difference' and help young people understand autism. DM me if you'd like a copy.

We went through a very similar experience, which I wrote about here:

autisticson.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/my-brother-is-different/

and here:

autisticson.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/your-brother-is-autistic/

Sarraburd Wed 24-Oct-12 19:02:09

Thanks so much Cwtches and Bsdad.

I agree that at the moment my kids are probably the mos accepting of everyone about DS2 - they will often step in and defend him to others they feel are putting him under pressure eg "oh he doesn't understand that yet" "he's still learning about that" "he's a bit slow at talking". they are both so sweet with him and supportive, I just couldn't do it without them. And to some extent I guess I am worried about making them see him as Different as opposed to just how he is.

The blog is great; have been going through alot of that. Will look out the book, it sounds good, and would also love to see the presentation.

Sarraburd Wed 24-Oct-12 19:05:47

Hmm how to I DM you? Have never done one before (also actually this is my first post! Have been on about 8 years but tend to lurk mostly).

Sarraburd Wed 24-Oct-12 19:06:11

I meant first thread...

5ThingsUnderTheBed Wed 24-Oct-12 19:08:13

Ds2 was dxed when ds1 was nearly 5. He was a very mature 5 though and has a low of science and the way thins work. We explained ds2s brain was wired differently so saw things differently to us, so what we might have thought was weird was normal to him (or words to that effect). He was very understanding and used to tell people is brother was autismic if people stared at him.

BsDad Wed 24-Oct-12 19:46:08

Hi,
May have meant PM, not DM. Or 'Message poster'.
Either way, if you send an email to me at bsdad@hotmail.co.uk I'll reply with the PowerPoint attachment.

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