Ask Sam letter


To Sam

my autistic brother

Im 15 and my big strong autistic brother is 18. He constantly hits, kicks, punches, bites, and verbally abuses me. Help
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter about your brother. You said your brother is 18 and he’s big and strong, but he is always hitting, kicking, biting and being abusive to you.

It must be really hard having an older brother who is autistic because even though he has his own difficulties, you don’t like him behaving this way to you. You should be able to feel safe in your own home and be able to enjoy your relationship with your brother. It is not OK for your brother to abuse you in this way.

Sometimes families with a child with autism are not aware of the impact it has on other children in the family. You may even sometimes feel that it is not your brother’s fault as he may not realise how strong he is or what he is doing.

You have a right to feel safe and protected in your family and I wonder if anyone else knows how you feel about how your brother behaves? You don’t say who you live with but it can sometimes be helpful talking to a parent, teacher or trusted adult about things which make you feel hurt or when you need help. Some young people write a letter as they do not want to talk directly to the person.

It’s really good that you have been able to tell me about your brother and it might be helpful to talk to a ChildLine counsellor and say a bit more about how it makes you feel. You can talk to a counsellor by calling 0800 1111 or by logging on for a 1-2-1 chat.

Did you know there is some helpful support and information for young people who have a brother or sister with autism? You can find out more on the autism page in Explore and also at the National Autistic Society who have information for brothers and sisters of children with autism.

Childline message boards also have messages from young people like yourself who have siblings with autism. We'd like to support you more with this so I hope we'll hear from you soon.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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