Children with Autism have a difficult time with expressive and receptive language along with social skills. These two struggles can be difficult for an autism sibling to understand.
Teaching autism siblings how their sibling expresses love in both a non-verbal and verbal approach is so impactful to their sibling relationship.
My sister was non-verbal until she was 9 years old. I honestly thought she didn’t like me because she never spoke to me. I didn’t know about what non-verbal meant. She had a communication device, why couldn’t she just talk to me there?
I defined love based on the way my parents expressed it to me. Talking to me about my day, reading me bed time stories, playing with me at the park and making me my favorite snacks!
I learned love through how my friends at school showed me. They would take turns with me playing games, they would share their favorite snacks with me and they would invite me over for playdates.
Angie didn’t want to play with me not because she didn’t want to, but because she didn’t know how to. Angie didn’t not want to say I love you to me, she just couldn’t at the time. She also didn’t take turns with me, because she didn’t understand that I wanted to play with her instead of take away her toys.
I learned that those times when Angie came up to hug me, the times when she played by my side even though it was a different toy, the times where she would sit at the edge of my bed during our bed time stories, that was HER WAY of showing me she loves me.
We focus so much on the verbal expression of love that we forget to show children, especially autism siblings, how love is expressed with non-verbal communication.
Take 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted time with the sibling and talk about all the ways their sibling with autism is expressing love.
Parents, I encourage you to write me a question on how to impact your children’s sibling relationship! Drop your thoughts below ⬇️