COVID-19 Update: All Locations Open – Read More

How Autism can Affect Siblings
Autism and Siblings

Autism can have some adverse effects to the person on the spectrum, but what about the ways it impacts their family? If you have both a child or children on the spectrum and neurotypical children, the impacts can be especially apparent. In this post, we’ll discuss how autism affects neurotypical siblings, and how to navigate those effects.

The Impacts

In truth, there can be many negative impacts on the siblings of a child on the spectrum. This is especially true if the children are younger. Research shows that neurotypical siblings of children on the spectrum can experience depression, anxiety, and social challenges along with the child with autism.

One thing to note when considering the effects is that some of these shared symptoms can be a result of environmental or genetic factors, more so than directly correlated to the autism diagnosis itself. Either way, these issues can be exacerbated dependent on coping techniques, treatment, and environment. 

Siblings of children with autism can be more likely to experience social and emotional challenges as they grow. They are not, however, more likely to show aggression or experience developmental delays. The findings instead indicate that siblings of children on the spectrum are much more likely to share the experience of autism’s related conditions and symptoms more so than the core features and developmental delays associated with the diagnosis.

How to Deal with the Effects

So, how can these effects be combatted while also providing the right care for the child on the spectrum? The best ways to tackle these effects might include:

  • Communicating and explaining autism in a way the children can understand, while answering questions that come up along the way.
  • Parenting to each child’s individual needs more so than placing everyone under the same expectations/circumstances.
  • Seeking professional help or getting the neurotypical children involved in behavioral treatments and programs that work for them.

Success will look different for every family, and finding the right balance can be a difficult and time-consuming process. What’s most important is that everyone’s needs are met in the best ways for them, including your own. Don’t be afraid to use your resources and support systems in the community.
For more ABA and autism related news and tips visit our blog and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! If you have questions regarding ABA therapy services or you’re interested in visiting one of our locations, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on our contact page. We’re always here to answer your questions and support your family’s needs as best as we can.

Get Started


November 4, 2019

Related Posts

Individualized Education Programs (IEP)

Individualized Education Programs (IEP)

Children on the autism spectrum tend to face more challenges in a traditional classroom setting than their neurotypical peers. As a result, they typically require special support through their school and teachers. In order to receive special education services, those...

Illinois Medicaid and ABA Therapy

Illinois Medicaid and ABA Therapy

Illinois Medicaid Coverage for ABA Therapy Medicaid has historically not covered ABA therapy in Illinois. As of May 2022, Medicaid will cover ABA therapy in our state. However, as this is new legislation, many ABA providers, including The Place for Children with...

Learning to Code for Children with Autism

Learning to Code for Children with Autism

One of the beauties of education is its continued evolution. What we teach our child must adapt to the skills required to become an independent member of society. A new focus on computer science skills and coding has taken the center stage for many children in...