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Dealing with an autistic brother

I have a 14-year-old brother with autism, and I know he has to go through hard stuff, but I honestly can’t stand him.
He tries to hit my mom, he insults people and attacks me for no reason. And if I fight back, I get in trouble! He has been expelled from school more than 20 times and has gone to the principal's office twice in the 1st week of summer school. Lately I've been wishing he wasn’t my brother. I just want a normal older brother.

Hey there, girlie. Sorry to hear about the waaay tough sitch. I’m sure your brother can be really frustrating sometimes, but here are some things to consider that might help ya out.

Take a walk in his shoes

I have an uncle with schizophrenia. I know understanding and dealing with someone with a mental disorder can be extremely stressful. There were def times when my family and I felt angry or just confused about his thoughts and feelings. I learned it’s really important to understand that his thought process is completely different from yours. Trying to understand him through your own logic just won’t work a lot of times.

And while you don’t understand him, he doesn’t always understand you either. Autism can range, but generally speaking, people with autism have a hard time communicating and understanding social norms. So, while you may not always get where he’s coming from, ya need to try and cut him a little slack. He doesn’t always understand how he should or shouldn’t act and he’s doing the best he can.

Take care of Y-O-U too!

All that said, I can only imagine how hard it is to have to deal with this stress and aggression every day. When you find yourself really upset, remove yourself from the sitch and blow off a little steam. Whether you’re drawing a picture, blasting music or scribbling down your feelings in your journal (trust me, it helps), take a sec to just breathe.

Let it out

Talk to an adult. Sure, your friends are great listeners, but adults tend to have a much better grasp on more difficult situations like this. Whether it’s your ‘rents, a guidance counselor, teacher, relative or other adult you feel comfortable talking to, getting some of that pent up frustration off your chest will def do you some good. 

I hope everything works out!

GOT YOUR OWN TOUGH STUFF SITCH? CLICK HERE to submit your own problem to be answered on Girl Talk!

BY KRISTEN YEUNG ON 8/20/2010 7:02:00 AM


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