When a child is diagnosed with autism, it affects the entire family. While we often think of the parents or caregivers as those primarily affected, siblings are deeply affected as well. So, as parents, we must ask ourselves, what can we do to help both our child with autism as well as their brothers and sisters?
Educate and Set Expectations
It is important to make sure siblings understand the diagnosis of their brother and sister and what that means. Sit down and have a conversation with your child about autism and what that may mean for their relationship with their sibling (ie: Sam can’t express his wants or needs verbally so he may scream or Sam hears things differently than other people and that’s why we need to turn the music down, etc…). Be sure to have open communication with your child and be sure to let them know it’s ok to ask questions. Furthermore, having a sibling with autism can often mean having unexpected and upsetting reactions with others who may not understand their diagnosis. Prepare your child for different scenarios they may find themselves in with friends, schoolmates, or even strangers, and how to properly and respectfully react to things they may hear or experience.
Often times, so much time is dedicated to the child with autism and their needs, that the siblings can begin to feel neglected, or “left out.” Make sure you’re spending time with all of your children. Consider setting up a special one-on-one activity once a month with each child, or plan activities the entire family can do together. This will ultimately create a stronger family that is prepared to deal with the challenges faced by raising a child with autism.
Together, we can unlock your child’s potential
Lighthouse Autism Center has opened it’s sixth center in Granger, IN and is excited to be serving this local community. Like other centers, the new center is a large building with the highest safety standards, a beautiful play area, and plenty of natural light. It is the perfect space and is a wonderful learning environment for the kiddos who attend this center.
When opening a new center, our goal is to not only create a beautiful learning environment for the children at the center, but to make it convenient for parents. Often times parents have a long commute to reach a center that can provide therapy for their child, especially if they live in rural areas. That’s why we have made it our mission to bring quality, center-based ABA therapy to communities in need.
Find a Center Near You
Interested in finding an autism center near you? Click Find a Center below to view a full list of current autism therapy centers.
When facing the challenges of parenting a child with autism, it’s important for caregivers to understand they are not alone. With 1 in 61 children diagnosed with autism, there are many parents and caregivers going through the same struggles. At Lighthouse, we understand the importance of these caregivers finding a supportive community with others who are experiencing the same daily tasks, challenges and joys that they are.
LAC encourages families to get to know each other, as no one better understands what you are going through than other families going through the same thing. Parents dropping off and picking up their children often get to know each other, and can get together for play dates, coffee, or even just for a quick conversation before picking their kids up from the center. We pride ourselves on creating an atmosphere where families can support each other and their children.
Together, we can unlock your child’s potential
At Lighthouse Autism Center, the ultimate goal is to provide each school-age child with the skills to transition back to a classroom setting that is appropriate for them. While the majority of children at LAC are enrolled for an average of two years, each child is unique, and some are enrolled for a shorter or longer period of time in order for them to reach the goal of transitioning back to school.
When a child is ready to transition back to school, LAC plays a very active role in the transition. We do this through attendance at IEP meetings, observing children in the classroom, and working with teachers and families to support the child’s successful transition back to school.
While this can be a scary and challenging time for families, LAC is there to provide support to both the child and family during this exciting time. We want families to know that the entire LAC team is there to help them make this transition and will continue to serve as a support in order to help the child reach their fullest potential.
At LAC, we are seeing incredible progress made by our learners every day.