Having An Autistic Brother – Pros and Cons


This post was actually inspired from a blog that I had read about having her son write what it’s like having a Asperger brother. I thought the post was very well written.  I have been wanting my son to write something for a very long time. He has questions and I guess maybe I don’t explain them very well or in a way that he understands. By the way I will be sharing that post Saturday for the Autism Blog Buzz.

Brad is 14 and Dakota who has high functioning autism is 8 years old. Dakota sure does give us all a run for our money. He can be a handful at times. I can see that at times Brad is frustrated and doesn’t understand. I think sometimes he forgets about Dakota’s autism.  I can’t blame him for being frustrated as at time I get frustrated too. Only difference is sometimes I break down crying because I don’t know what to do or I am not understand why Dakota does what he does sometimes.

Lets get down to what Brad has to say about having an autistic brother.


  • Having Dakota as an autistic brother can be a great experience for me so I know how to deal with this if I have kids one day and my kid has autism. (Wow I didn’t expect this one. At least he is trying to understand and wants to be prepared.)
  • Dakota is quiet a lot of the time so it’s nice.
  • I see that Dakota wants to be like me, so for me it’s like having a mini me. With Dakota wanting to be like me is going to work out because he will do what you think is fun and you can get along easier.
  • Another is if you tell Dakota something and you make him swear he won’t tell anyone he won’t unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • When Dakota really wants to he can be the nicest person you ever meet.
  • Lastly Dakota looks at you like a friend he never really had.


  • You don’t always see eye to eye.
  • Dakota will rat you out if you have been really mean to him.
  • What ever you show him as a young one he will do. For example when Dakota would scratch me a lot when he was younger I would scratch him. Dakota was only doing what I did so it’s my fault.
  • Dakota does invade space way to much.
  • Dakota will not listen all the time.
  • Dakota doesn’t understand like you do all the time.
  • Dakota thinks he can do what ever you can and he can’t.
  • He can be really hyper and loud.
  • He will repeat whatever you say, so watch what you do and say around him.

Now onto some of the questions Brad has:

  • I don’t understand why and what makes him not a normal kids.
  • Why can’t he think like he is suppose to?
  • Why are autistic kids anti social to kids their own age but not to your friends?
  • I would really like to know what causes autism and why.

Well reading over Brad’s cons I have to say a couple of them seem to me like just normal sibling rivalary. LOL Brad is right Dakota is a big space invader. Dakota doesn’t really play with kids his own age he wants to be like and hang around Brad and his friends. There are times Dakota will play with someone his own age.

If you have answers to Brad’s questions we would love to hear them. If you have comments we would love to hear these too!

Great job Brad!!

18 Responses to “Having An Autistic Brother – Pros and Cons”

  • 1
    ike says:

    My daughters are probably both autistic. My older daughter Alex (also 14) has been having a difficult time dealing with the fact that her sister Calli (11) copies the things she does, in particular illustration and writing stories. It’s a little ironic because Alex started illustrating because of my illustration – she wanted to be like me. And Calli is drawing now because she wants to be like Alex. It’s taken a good bit of discussion but I think Alex is starting to understand that, although there may still be some sibling rivalry, she doesn’t have to be so threatened by Calli’s copying.

    I think Calli may be copying partly because she’s Aspergers (none of the kids have been diagnosed yet), but also because I think she’s insecure about presenting her own ideas to other people. We know that Calli has a lot of insecurities and she’s crying a lot, which is something else we’re working on. But I think that helping her older sister to think about these things differently will also help us quite a bit to help Calli as well.

    It’s nice to see that you didn’t have to explain to Brad that he should be flattered like I did with Alex. 😉 I wish I could give him some answers, but he’s asking some questions that most of us adults are still working on. 😉

    admin Reply:

    LOL Ike I thought the same thing with the questions he asked. Now does Calli illustrate how she feels or is it just drawings. I can’t wait for Brad to read this so in a sense he doesn’t have to feel alone with another sibling wanting to be like him. Thanks for sharing your story I really enjoyed reading it 🙂

  • 2

    It’s always tough having a sibling who is needier. The one who is different always seems to get more attention. There are many theories about the cause of autism, including vaccination, but no-one knows for sure.

    admin Reply:

    You are right Jan there are many theories. In my mind I wonder about vaccinations. Now 1 in 91 kids have autism. So that makes me wonder. There was a study I found interesting. It was necessarily about the Mercury. I have to find it so I don’t screw it up., LOL

  • 3
    Sherri says:

    What a great post Stacie! WOW! I often wonder how Elise feels about Gannon. I guess time will tell. You know there are books out there that children have wrote about their experience being a sibling to an autistic person. I only read a few pages then had to stop. It made me cry. Cale said he couldn’t read it either. But I do think each family has different feelings(at least some).

    As far as why they can’t think like other kids? That has 100% to due with their brain. Alot of these kids have “crossed wires” or gaps in the electrical pathways, which causes that part of the brain to run very slow or not at all. If you look at kids with autism and their MRI’s they look VERY different from the neurotypical’s brain. It is all in the design of that individuals brain. When I was in college, we were studing the brain and to understand how other people with different brain issues felt we had to take a challenge. One of these was to do everything opposite. Such as if you are a righty, then you have to do EVERYTHING with your left side. Write, eat, brush your teeth, wave, hold the phone, put your right foot in first while getting dressed if you like the left…etc. trying to re-train your brain. That was a very small glimpse into how hard it can be for some people. We get in our routine of how we do things and then do whichever is easiest. Well for some people that is not an easy task. They don’t have a prodominat side or pathways in their brain as a “go to”. The brain is honestly so complex I wouldn’t imagine they will honestly figure out What is causing Autism. Until there are 2 children alike….we have a long way to go. And so far, there are no 2 autistic children alike. There are so many factors involved is just so complex.
    .-= Sherri´s last blog ..Day 1 =-.

    admin Reply:

    Honestly Sherri when Brad wrote this I thought he was going to be very harsh. He sat there and actually thought this through. I was rather proud of him. I haven’t read any books really on siblings yet.

  • 4
    Laane says:

    My twins have to deal with 4 autistic brothers. One of them is low functioning and a real burden to them.
    We often talk about it.

    I’ll address the questions another time, because I’m too tired at the moment.

    Great blog!!
    .-= Laane´s last blog ..the birth of the twins =-.

    admin Reply:

    Hi Laane! I will be interested in hearing your answers. Thanks for stopping by.

  • 5
    Frugal Vicki says:

    This is a fantastic post. I have some of the same questions as Brad! He is such a gentle, caring person, that is so plainly obvious from his answers.
    .-= Frugal Vicki´s last blog ..Holiday Gift Guide-Soap Queen Soaps and Discount!! =-.

    admin Reply:

    Thanks Vicki. I was rather blown away that he wasn’t more harsh with his answers. Brad is a very caring kid. Although sometimes he forgets 🙂

  • 6
    tina says:

    I have a daughter who had severe food allergies, if left untreated she would grow up to be unmanageble.. Iam sure u are wondering as to why iam writing about food allergies in a site which concerns autism, but both are linked together. It has been seen and noticed that some foods do trigger symptoms which can be concluded to say that the child is autistic. Fortunately we found a chiropractor who treated my daughter for her food allergies through non invasive technique of NAET.( http://www.naet.com) It is seen that naet works wonders on autistic children. have a look at the website and Iam sure this will know what iam talking about.My nephew is autistic and naet has helped him a lot. My sister has seen a total transformation in him and so have his teachers in school. Though he may still take a long time to come along but the road to recovery has started. He too had a lot of food allergies that went undetected and by treating those they were able to treat the behaviour too. When i read this blog i couldnt stop my self from telling you about this form of treatment..

    admin Reply:

    Hi Tina! Thanks for sharing the information. Last month I think it was I wrote up a few posts on Autism and Food. I have heard good things about changing diet. I have never heard of NAET. So I will have to check out the link. Thank you for sharing it.

  • 7

    […] we are talking about family, I had my son sit down and write the Pros and Cons of having an autistic brother . I was really proud of him as he took his time. I really thought he was going to list a lot of […]

  • 8
    Grampy says:

    Congratulations Brad.You seem to be doing an excellent job.Keep working with your brother.He needs a lot of love.Maybe someday you may want to work professionally with Autistic children. You are doing a good job now.

    admin Reply:

    I am going to show Brad this Grampy! That is going to make him smile!

  • 9
    sharkbytes says:

    Amazing how perceptive kids can be, isn’t it?

    admin Reply:

    That is very to true sharkbytes. Just when you think they aren’t understanding or don’t care they surprise you.

  • 10

    […] at the Veterans Memorial Library, 301 S. University Ave. The goals for (Central Michigan …Having An Autistic Brother Pros and Cons | SUPER MOMMY TO …This post was actually inspired from a blog that I had read about having her son write what it's […]

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