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My Autistic Brother

Hi Sam,
So my brother has Autism. He is currently 7, and I'm really worried about his future. He is starting to get used a lot by his "friends". He doesn't really understand things and he gets confused a lot. I'm scared that he'll get bullied a lot when he is older. My mum says someone told her he may need someone to "help" him when he is older, and I don't want that to happen. I'm just scared.. and when/if he does get bullied, I don't know what to do? Help?
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Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. I can hear you really care about your brother and that you’ve got lots of worries about his future.

Having autism can make it harder to understand relationships with other people. One way you could help your brother is by talking to him about his friends and helping him understand if they are not being kind. There’s a good explanation of bullying for people with autism on the National Autistic Society’s website. I can hear that your brother gets confused a lot at the moment but with the right support, it’s possible for young people with autism to get better at making and keeping friends.

All bullying is wrong and needs to be stopped. If you ever think your brother is being bullied, it is important that you talk to someone to let them know what is happening. This could be a parent, carer, teacher or trusted adult. All schools should have an anti-bullying policy in place that says what they will do about bullying. You can read more about supporting someone with autism who is being bullied in the explore section.

It sounds like you're worried about what will happen when your brother gets older and what kind of help he might need. Autism is different for lots of people so some may need more support than others. I can hear that it’s scary to think about your brother needing extra help but that doesn’t mean he won’t be able to lead a full and happy life.

Having a family member with autism can have a big impact on everyone. Brothers and sisters of people with autism often find it worrying to think about the future. It sounds like you’ve already talked to your mum about your brother but that this has left you with some questions. Would you be able to write some of those down and ask your mum to go through them with you when she has time? She might not have all the answers for you but it might help to share some of your worries.

The National Autistic society offers a lot of information about autism and support for friends and family. Young sibs is another great website for brothers and sisters of people with a disability as well as the Young Minds website for facts and information. You can also watch videos and read information on what it's like living with autism here on the ChildLine website.  

Your brother is very lucky to have such a caring person looking out for him. Your feelings are also important and you may want to talk to one of the ChildLine counsellors for more support on 0800 1111. You could also have a look at our learning difficulties message board where you can read messages from other young people and ask them for their ideas and advice.

Take care,

Sam

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