Speaking of BlogHer, I have a new post up as Contributing Editor for Kids With Special Needs, about our kids' complicated relationships -- and how sometimes Leo's behavior is because he's a brother, not because he has autism. And how we spend a lot of time teaching Mali to separate Leo's actions from his person: "...while she can be mad about what he does, it is not OK for her to make him feel bad about who he is." Here's an extended quote:
We don't ever leave our youngest daughter Mali alone with Leo, her ten-year-old big brother. It's not safe. Leo's intense autism may complicate his understanding in some ways, but he remembers very clearly that until he was four years old, there was no Mali and he was Mommy's baby. He has no problem showing his antipathy through yelling and pushing. Understandably, Mali is not a Leo fan, though she tends to blame Leo's autism rather than Leo himself. While I know we can keep Mali safe, I worry that these two children I love so fiercely might hate each other. And that breaks my heart.I'd enjoy hearing about other families' sibling interactions, especially positive ones, and how you shape, mold, encourage, manage, and direct them.