Wednesday 29 May 2019

When his sister cries, and what my autistic son did

Girl in garden covering her eyes

David's world is mostly centred around David. It's the same for most kids when they are younger. Their primary concern is around themselves and what they need and want. As David's sister has grown, she's learned that taking into account what David needs is important for the family.

She's learned that if we are going to have fun at the playground, it's best if she helps him understand when it's his turn on the slide.  She's learned that if something is upsetting David she can come and get help or in most cases, she's actually able to figure out what is upsetting her autistic brother and help him.  She can even pull them out of what could become bed situations.

In some ways this is because without her adaptions we wouldn't spend time at the park or her brother might lash out at her.  But I also think she's just growing up with an awareness of others needs and how this impacts or her world and the world of her family.

David though, is usually struggling with getting through each day. He doesn't have time for the needs of others.

Or so I thought.

David doesn't sleep well. Many people with autism (including both my sons) have sleeping difficulties. However, David can stay in his room after lights out and will generally stay on his bed bouncing about and muttering in his own mysterious language. David uses very few words to communicate but the other night he can came down the stairs looking anxious. He waited on the bottom stair for me... and in a few seconds said 'help me'.

I assumed something may have happened to his bed covers, or possibly he'd dropped a book down the back of his bed.

So I held out my hand for him to guide me to the problem.

'Fix?' I asked.

'Fix... Jay'

I was a bit confused.

But half way up the stairs I heard a quiet sobbing and realised David was taking me upstairs because his sister, Jane, was crying in bed.

It's difficult to know why David came to get me. Was Jane's crying annoying him?  Jane doesn't usually cry a lot so perhaps it was just unexpected.  I suspect he didn't like it for some reason but whether that was because of how Jane was feeling or how he felt about the noise I don't know.

What I do know though now, given that this has repeated itself, it that whereas once Jane would come get me if David was upset, I can now rely on the opposite too. Somehow despite their young age and challenges, they've found a way of looking out for each other.

And that's pretty impressive. And makes me feel like things might be ok.


  1. Awww I love this. Sibling love is strong despite the challenges xx

  2. Aw this is beautiful and so heartening. It's moments like these that make parenting wonderful.

  3. oh my goodness this melts my heart, how absolutely gorgeous of him. Sibling love is truly something special! Thank you for sharing this with us too for #ABloggingGoodTime

  4. This is lovely, so wonderful to watch these relationships develop. #SpectrumSunday

  5. AW, that's beautiful. I think you should just accept it either way as a blessing. There's no bond stronger than a sibling bond.


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