Sibling Skirmishes

With social difficulties, homework hassles and after-school meltdowns, a parent’s focus can often be squarely on the child with Aspergers.  Siblings can struggle to get their fair share of Mum/Dad’s time and attention. Here is one sibling’s take on the situation:


  • You can learn lots from them, as they can teach you heaps about their special interest
  • When they change interests, you can learn lots about that too
  • When they want to play with you, they focus really well and concentrate just on you
  • They can be very loyal and protective


  • If you’re younger than the Aspie child, they can physically threaten or hurt you
  • They can get angry and lose their cool quickly
  • You have to spend a lot of time going to appointments
  • Mum/Dad spends a lot of time with him/her, and not with me

Take a moment to think about your other children – how does Aspergers affect them? 


  • Keep watch that younger children are not being intimidated
  • Explain behavioural issues carefully to the Aspie child, and make sure they know/understand a better way to behave
  • Follow through with consequences for misbehaviour.  It's important that you are seen to be fair with all children in the family.
  • Spend special one-on-one time with the sibling(s), to make up for the extra attention the Aspie child gets.
  • Check out sibling support groups / clubs that might be of interest
  • Try to keep things as normal as possible for the siblings - play-dates and extra-curricular activities especially.
  • Watch out for signs of depression.  If you think it might help, ask your GP to create a Mental Health Care Plan for the sibling, so you can access Medicare rebates for psychology. (Australia only)
  • See my Working the Aspergers System Guide for more strategies and financial supports.