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Frustrated by sibling

(5 Posts)
liger Sun 07-Apr-13 11:03:06

I've been lurking on these boards for a few months, but this is my first post here. A few months ago the penny dropped that the social issues my son was having at school amounted to something more, and on reading about Aspergers we are as certain as we can be that he fits many of the symptoms. He is almost 8 years old and in year 2. We quickly went to the GP who knows us and trusts our judgment and she referred us to CAMHS, so far we've heard nothin further. From my reading I suspect he had quite high functioning autism, and he can show beautiful empathy at times.

But here's what we need help with. Our DS is the eldest and has two younger brothers 4 and 3, and a baby sister he adores. He is thick as thieves with the 4 year old most of the time. But at the moment the 3 year old seems to be the subject of all his frustrations.

We have tried numerous things over the last few months. Keeping them as separate as possible, doing lovely things with the two of them together to reignite
the sibling love. I guess the question is w we do we ignore? Do we separate them more? Do we set strict
rules?Feeling quite lost now and sad for our once
happy toddler who as a baby was adored by his big

liger Sun 07-Apr-13 11:59:23


EllenJanesthickerknickers Sun 07-Apr-13 12:12:47

I think it's a problem not restricted to AS. It's pretty common in many families to have clashes between siblings. It could be that the 3 yo is at that annoying age where they just seem to spoil games because they are too young to take part and for a DC with possible AS, the unpredictability of your average 3 yo might be a bit much. I think you have to deal with it as it happens and hope things improve with age. Try to be as 'fair' as you can, acknowledging that the 3 yo can also be at 'fault' (even if he's just too young to understand, really) otherwise the older one may start to build up resentment that you are always on the younger boys side and turn a smaller problem into something bigger.

I have a different problem with my boys. My 15yo DS, who has always been a lovely big brother to my youngest, has suddenly hit the sarcastic hormone and can't say anything nice anymore. My youngest is just so hurt all the time, and no matter how much I explain this to the 15 yo, who is old enough to know better, he just can't seem to help himself. Not really relevant to your situation, but just to let you know that explanations and expecting them to know better don't always work.

liger Sun 07-Apr-13 12:36:36

Thank you Ellen, you are right on many points, and reading your post gives me some perspective. And my feeling is that the 3 year old is on the cusp of becoming much more fun but DS1 obviously can't see that.
I think where the AS comes in is that DS1 is becoming quite fixed on the fact that his brother is annoying, and he pushes him away before he has even done anything. This spirals into a ganging up of the two eldest against the 3 year old, all games are with him cast as the enemy

EllenJanesthickerknickers Sun 07-Apr-13 12:52:50

Yes, that could be a problem. It could be hard to break the habit of casting your poor 3 yo as villain. I have 3 boys and find they always break into two groups of one and two. Sometimes it's the biggest two together, like now when they are both in secondary, or the younger two, that share a room, or the first and third, who are supposedly NT and actually have friends and get invited out. Again, hopefully the dynamic among your 3 boys will change for the better with time.

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