Sibling relationships

Can I be vulnerable with you? The first years of my son’s life were the most challenging. There was the occasional shame foreshadowed publicly by others or the feeling of helplessness because I was navigating the unknown. I became consumed with protecting and meeting the needs of my son. He was my little wounded bird; he needed me more than other children needed their Mommies, at least so I thought. When my second child, who was my first girl, came along, I did not get a chance to experience her the same way I did my son. As she grew, I saw her as strong and resilient because of her independence and level of understanding. By the time she was four, my second daughter arrived, and my son was eight, and he was beginning to thrive. I did get a chance to experience her presence; we all did. She was our last; as my son gained a sense of independence, it was easier to experience her firsts and truly bond with her.


The year of COVID was tough, as, for many families, though I appreciate the time we gain getting closer, the time also revealed the areas in my family that were being ignored. My middle child had become sort of the oldest in our family over the years. Her understanding and level of maturity had advanced over my sons in certain areas. It was not until the day when she shared her feelings about my treatment and love for the other two that I could experience what she felt for who knows how long. I was truly at a loss for words because I knew that it was not how I truly felt. Yet, her feelings are valid because they belong to her. Through my experience, I have learned that no one has the right to tell you how you feel. The great Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” She also said, ” When you know better, do better.” I know I cannot do anything about the past, but due to my enlightenment, I can show up for her now.

Sibling Rivalry

Siblings of children that have ASD sometimes can get lost in the background of the cares and needs of their brother or sister. I have learned to create small moments and pockets of time with her, so she feels that she matters too. I know that it is troublesome navigating a family with multiple children, but it is possible.


I did not always know when my son was small, but there are services available to help families employ trustworthy people to help care for their child to give parents time for self-care and time to focus on the needs of other family members; please see my resource page. The Department of Health Services is a great place to start.