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Introducing an autistic child to a new sibling?

Posted by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM
  • 7 Replies

DH and I recently found out we are expecting in August!  Our four year old son is high functioning, just looking for some advice from mom's/dad's who have added a baby to their family with a child on the spectrum.  Strategies to make the transition go smoothly?!



by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM
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by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 12:25 PM

We've only got the one 4 year old right now but I have heard they offer classes at hospitals to get kids used to the sound of babies and things like that so that it won't be a shock to them when the time comes.

by Bronze Member on Jan. 1, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Our therapist told us to get a crying baby doll.  We were worried about the transition also but our four your old loves his baby sister and got used to the crying.

by Bronze Member on Jan. 1, 2013 at 1:15 PM
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I only have my 2yr old son....i just wanted to say congrats on your new baby.
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by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 1:37 PM
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My daughter was 2 when her brother was born. I read some stories and watched tv shows on nick or disney about introducing a new baby into the family. Also had a baby doll for her to care for. We included her when we shopped for baby. I let her touch and we talked to my belly. I would tell her that the baby needed all of us. And I told her she was going to be a big sister and that was an important person to be.
When she first saw her brother in the hospital, we were in my room. She said "baby" and reached to touch him. We guided her hand to be sure she would be gentle. At home she kept a close eye on him. I let her feed him water some times, guiding of course. If she was nearby I'd ask her to do little things like hand me the tube of cream, bottle, etc. She barely was talking at the time but she could understand a lot.
Eventually I figured out the reason she usually watched her brother so close was because he was spitting out his pacifier and she would put it back in his mouth. She eventually helped me figure out that he didn't want, or need, the pacifier. So she would take it for herself. She used one til she was almost 5, and I stopped buying them.
She loves him still but being teens now I'm guessing most of the time she just tolerates him. My son adores his big sis. She's done a good job.
by Silver Member on Jan. 1, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Okay, Congratulations on expecting. Two, congratulations on providing a sibling for your son who will never leave him alone. Siblings are fantastic for ASD kids, especially younger ones, because it forces them to socialize. They become protective and loving, so it will be great. I would say let him touch your belly, let him pick out baby stuff. Tell him how incredible it is for him to be a big brother. When my younger son was around a younger cousin, I told him that being older meant that sometimes they listen to you. He loved it.

I think that it is instinctual for them to adapt.

by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 10:20 PM
It took my daughter who was 2 years 2 months when my youngest was born about a week to go near the baby. At the hospital she wouldn't go near anything. She sat on the chair and starred blankly until it was time for dh and the kids to go home. One we got home she looked at her sister for the first time. By the second day we were home she touched the baby and held her. Now 7 months later she does her sister and is very protective of her. to prepare her we talked a lot about the baby. Read stories and i pointed out babies in stores. She still has a hard time when the baby cries. But she just covers her eats or yells cute things like "stop crying! I make you happy!"
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by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 10:43 PM

Thanks everyone for all the great advice!  I will definitely be trying out all the great suggestions!  I am really hoping that they baby will help my son to mature and that he will embrace the big brother role!  He enjoys being around other babies the little that we are, I think it is because they are smaller than him and he finds that fascinating!

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