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My autistic Sister will attack me but my parents do nothing

I know my sister can't control what she does because she's autistic. However, whenever my sister has a tantrum she would get very violent and atracks people. She would always attack me and when I call my parents for help they just tell her to stop (she never stops) and go away. I've got so many scratches and bruises from my sister. They're everywhere, on my face, my hands, all over my body. I try to tell my parents how I feel but they don't listen. What should I do?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for contacting me to talk about your experiences of living with a sister with autism and how that makes you feel. 

It can be really tough when someone we live with behaves in a way which hurts us physically or mentally. Even in cases when that person cannot help what they are doing it can still make us feel isolated and picked on.

No one has the right to harm you in this way and although your sister has autism that does not excuse her hurting you. I can hear that you have tried to talk to your parents but you don’t feel that they are really listening to how you feel. Living with someone who is autistic can be challenging for everyone, including your parents and they might also be finding it hard.

You might want to consider talking to another trusted adult outside of the home who could support you in getting your parents to understand how things are for you. This could be someone like a favourite teacher, a school counsellor or nurse. If you don’t feel ready to involve others right now then remember that you can talk to a ChildLine counsellor anytime by calling 0800 1111 or logging on for a 1-2-1 chat.

Your safety is really important so you should make sure that you clean any scratches and check out any concerns with bruises with a medical professional. If ever you feel in danger when your sister has a tantrum then you should think about having someone you can turn to for immediate help and support. Many young people use ChildLine for this and find that immediate help can be had by ringing us. 

Autism affects families and friends as well as the person with the condition. Autism can be difficult to understand and this can make it harder for people with autism, and the people in their lives, to know how to cope. You can take a look at the autism page for more information and advice.

If you are looking for specific information and advice then The National Autistic Society has some useful resources for siblings.

You really did the right thing writing to me about how you feel as it is important that you are supported too.

Take care,


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