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AS-NT sibling relationship

(8 Posts)
InSearchOfPerfection Sun 31-Mar-13 20:55:55

ds1 is nearly 10yo and NT, ds2 is 8yo with suspected AS.

the relationship between them is just becoming a constant fight.
Until now ds2 was very prone to anger outbursts when he was hitting his db. Usually moving from laughing to hitting within 2 minutes because something didn't quite go his way. But somehow, they both managed to get on with each other.

For the last few months, ds2 has started to express himself more, talk about what is important to him (Hourray!!) but it also means he is much more efficient at getting his point across (which of course IS different from ds1's).
However, AS means he doesn't read situations appropriately, will carry on teasing his db way passed the limit or will miss that x has upset his db. Cue for ds1 to get even more upset and angry.
He has sometimes still being hitting ds1, but this is unusual (ie perhaps once a week compared to 1~3 times a day before). ds2 is always sad to have lost control like and feels bad about his reaction.

ds1 on the other side is VERY bossy, has been able to get away with murder before so ds2 assertiveness isn't going down well. He doesn't understand how ds2 can do x or y (usually not stopping or ignoring the fact ds1 is upset) so gets very resentful towards ds2. Recently he has taken to get physical too, hitting ot catching ds2 to him fall over with the clear intention of hurting his db. He never feels bad about hitting his db saying he had deserved it and was warned about it sadsad

I really don't know how to handle it any more. I can't explain to ds1 why ds2 behaves the way he does as we don't have an official assessment yet.
And I don't want to ask him to act 'older than he is' either (I am sure he would resent it and sees it as 'ds2 gets away with murder').
And ds2 is just missing the main information and is putting himself in trouble repeatedly.
Any idea on how to smooth things over between them? Apart from ensuring they just don't spend any time together?

Handywoman Sun 31-Mar-13 21:46:28

ISOP I have a similar situation, dd1 is almost 10 and NT (well, Dyslexic so has her own struggles) and a dd2 with suspected ASD aged 8yo. It certainly has its own dynamic.

dd2 does not have a firm diagnosis yet (awaiting formal assessment) but dd1 calls it 'behaviour issues' which is a term she coined on her own, since it is bleedin' obvious, at times and so this term suffices at present. dd1 is fairly mature for a nearly-10-year-old but not yet mature to understand the concept of neurodevelopmental problems. We sometimes talk, however, about dd2's inability to comprehend the motivations of others, but it is not the main thrust of our discussions.

I don't have any practical answers, I'm afraid. The needs of both my two are constantly changing and so there can't be any 'rules' except that 1) we are none of us perfect and 2) disputes connected the dynamics of personalities are inevitable and 3) both kids will have different needs that need to be met, at different times, and as long as they both feel mostly understood and loved then you are doing a fine enough job. If your house is anything like mine, this will mean a lot of the time your ds2 will get away with not doing things your ds1 was expected to do at the same age. But that is inevitable, and doesn't necessarily mean you are getting it wrong. The ?ASD sibling inevitably needs to be treated like the person he or she is ie effectively emotionally quite immature.

Does your ds1 have plenty of privileges that make him feel more grown up? I find that is something that works well with dd1, playing to her social connectedness with her friends (she is quite independent, goes on lots of sleepovers, walks to school once a week, has a phone etc.) dd2 is oblivious to any of this and is so much less 'mature', so it works to make dd1 feel special in a way that feels meaningful to her. But most of the time we are just rubbing along and making it up!!!!!

That's probably not much help, is it!

Ineedmorepatience Sun 31-Mar-13 21:49:00

Oh yes, I know exactly what you are going through.
My older Dd's were 14 and 7 when Dd3 was born and she was very sweet and cute until she started to have meltdowns and want to watch the same TV programs over and over again, oh and worse have an opinion.

Dd1 moved out when Dd3 was 5 but still pops in to stir up trouble every now and thengrin
Dd2 and Dd3 fight all the time, usually verbally but it does get physical sometimes too.

Dd3 wasnt diagnosed until she was 9 so we werent able to explain her issues to Dd1 and 2 for a long time and when we did they had already decided that we just wanted to spoil her.

They are getting better though, thank goodness. Dd1 finally gets it and Dd2 is rapidly improving.

Hang in there and try to spend some extra special time with Ds1 if you can, so that he doesnt feel that you "prefer" Ds2, they form opinions whatever you do and you cant do more than your best.

We have visual reminders [posters] that say "Please respect others and their personal space" and "If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing"

I do send mine to different parts of the house if they are being horrible to each other but I try not to only send one away as this causes more resentement.

Good lucksmile

InSearchOfPerfection Sun 31-Mar-13 22:01:19

Oh yes I do the 'sending them both away to their bedroom to calm down'. A lot.

A few months ago, I was starting to think I shouldn't leave them together alone because of ds2 outbursts. I thought it was getting unsafe for ds1.
I was really looking forward to see ds2 being calmer and more able to express his needs.
I didn't think it would mean that they actually dislike each other even more sad

The worst thing is that they actually have LOTS in common (starting by the fact they are both VERY stubborn lol).

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 01-Apr-13 10:27:37

This sounds a lot like my DD (has been mooted HFA by school, but current dx from when she was 4 is 'Autistic traits'), and my DS1 (now starting process for Aspergers dx).

There is 4 years between them, DD is 15 (functioning at around a 10yo lvl) and DS1 is 10...

All ican say is that I feel your pain but don't have the answers. If I did, my own life would be a lot less stressful.

It's got to the point where I can't leave the two of them together in a room without adult supervision.

Tbh, even if in the same room WITH an adult, it doesn't make that much difference.

DD pick pick picks at every perceived slight "he's staring at me" "he moved the table by a mm" "he pushed me" (by walking down the stairs as she was walking up, she's hypersensitive...) "he hit me" (no, his finger gently brushed you, there's not even a mark)...

Then DD gets angry that I've not told him off for doing, essentially, not very much, and lashes out at DS1 so that she feels like justice has been done.

Then SHE gets told off for violence. And melts down because I "always tell her off, not DS1" (even though, in reality, what he's done isn't worthy if a telling off).

Then because he's had to put up with all this, DS1 then starts pick pick picking at DD for breaking the rules, and melts down if HE doesn't see justice being applied as she was violent...

This is all day, every day in my house.

So I'm watching this thread with interest to see if I can fix it.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 01-Apr-13 10:29:16

I guess DD being over sensitive to breaches of her personal space and noises and touch, and DS1 being undersensitive to breaches of personal space, noises and touch really doesn't help...

<<Screams in garden>>

InSearchOfPerfection Tue 02-Apr-13 08:01:04

Thank you all. I have to say it's nice in a way to know we are not the only ones to struggle there.

Has anyone tried to follow the 'Sibling Rivalry' book from the 'How to talk' author?
We've been trying to do that but not with great success unlike the 'How to talk' book. Even being there as a mediator to help them 'discussing' and finding a solution together isn't a hit. ds2 is struggling to see further than his own pov and ds1 is so inflexible (and thinks that ds2 will only get his own way again) that it just doesn't work.

<<Still in hope that someone will have found the 'magic wand' to make them all live together happily>>

InSearchOfPerfection Tue 02-Apr-13 08:04:18

I think my big issue here is the fact that ds1 is willing to hit his db so I am really less inclined to 'accept it' whereas ds2 hits when he has completely lost control and always regrets what he has done.....

Perhaps I should be concentrating on ds1 and his attitude (but still have no idea how to...)

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