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ABQmomof2 11-10-2013 11:19 AM

Siblings of autism and the negative effects
Hi, I am new to the board, but not to autism. I have a 13 year old son diagnosed at age 3 with HFA. It has been a challenge in our home from day one.

My other child is now 20 years old and has recently admitted to being an alcoholic and chronic marijuana user. It is really sad to see his decline over the last couple of years. He cannot hold a job, he failed out of college, and he was also just recently diagnosed with a seizure disorder. It is scary because alcohol use can increase the incidence of life threatening seizures.

He just started taking anti-depressants and anti-epileptics. I am hoping they will help soon.

To make a long story short, after a few sessions in therapy, he has told my husband and I that his drinking is a result of the hell that has been brought about by living with his brother's autism. He said that our home life was just too stressful because of it, and that we did not pay enough attention to him because we were always so focused on treating my autistic son. He said that we did not parent my autistic son correctly, and he felt like he had to be a "parent" to him.

I completely understand how he feels, but I have a hard time believing it is ALL as a result of the autism.

Is there anyone else out there in a similar situation? Where autism has disrupted the lives of siblings so much that they cannot function in the world?


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