Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide
ASERT has put together some resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current Coronavirus outbreak.
This presentation by Michael J. Murray, MD, Director, Division of Autism Services, Penn State College of Medicine, describes how siblings may be affected by autism.
In many ways, the “typical” siblings of a child with autism are anything but typical:
“He had bigger needs than the rest of us and you can say it made me a better person, but you don’t always want to be a better person, and that’s the truth.”
– Judy Karasik, co-author of The Ride Together: A Brother and Sister’s Memoir of Autism in the Family
Information needs to be relevant to their developmental age and understanding:
Children need to be told about autism again and again as they grow up:
You guessed it, not very much.
(Rivers and Stoneman 2003)
(Orsmond and Seltzer 2007)
Young children can be taught simple skills that will help them engage their brother or sister with autism:
“We will become caregivers for our siblings when our parents no longer can. Anyone interested in the welfare of people with disabilities ought to be interested in us.”
A number of support groups, books and more are available to help support siblings of those with autism.
Founded in 1990, the Sibling Support Project is the first national program dedicated to the life-long and ever-changing concerns of millions of brothers and sisters of people with special health, developmental, and mental health concerns.
44 S. 38th St.
Camp Hill, PA 17011
Sibshop Description: Our program is for children ages 6-12 who have a sibling with a disability. Our program is held in both the spring and the fall with a total of 8 meetings per year.
The perfect book for young siblings and as a guide for helping preschool and kindergarten-aged students better understand their peers with autism.
Moving to a new neighborhood is difficult, but Adam Krasner has the additional burden of dealing with Jeremy, his neurologically-impaired brother, who can’t seem to do anything right.
And Don’t Bring Jeremy, nominated for six state children’s book awards, is the heartwarming story of two brothers, friendship and acceptance.
This book focuses on the intensity of emotions that brothers and sisters experience when they have a sibling with special needs, and the hard questions they ask: What caused my sibling’s disability? Could my own child have a disability as well? What will happen to my brother or sister if my parents die?
Written for young readers, the book discusses specific disabilities in easy to understand terms. It talks about the good and not-so-good parts of having a brother or sister who has special needs, and offers suggestions for how to make life easier for everyone in the family.
Formatted like the slam books passed around in many junior high and high schools, this one poses a series of 50 personal questions along the lines of: What should we know about you? What do you tell your friends about your sib’s disability? What’s the weirdest question you have ever been asked about your sib? If you could change one thing about your sib (or your sib’s disability) what would it be? What annoys you most about how people treat your sib?
The Sibling Slam Book doesn’t slam in the traditional sense of the word. The tone and point-of-view of the answers are all over the map. Some answers are assuredly positive, a few are strikingly negative, but most reflect the complex and conflicted mix of emotions that come with the territory.
This groundbreaking work was excerpted in The New York Times for its ability to honestly, eloquently, and respectfully set forth what life is like with autism in the family.
What sets The Ride Together apart is its combination of imagination and realism – its vision of a family’s inner world – with David at the center.
This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.