On the Road With Autism

My journey of discovery. I welcome your comments!

Siblings Have Feelings Too 2015 Each time I spend time helping in Indonesia I gain remarkable insight. This time was no different. One of my take homes this time was never take for granted the vast number of resources, understanding & access to information that families have in the United States. During my workshop on Bali, “Siblings Have Feelings Too” the tears of one mother will always be a reminder to deliver information caringly. In the USA we take for granted that families know they will have challenges helping their son or daughter with special needs & that they also know they may need to find ways to support the typical siblings of their special needs brother or sister in the family. Ibu (mother) Panji, a mother in Bali, who tries everything she can to support her son with autism, came to realize that she also may need to find support for her other children who might have challenges due to the care of their brother or sister.   A double sadness comes to mother Panji while attending my workshop. Her tears showed me that.

In the next couple of blogs I hope to share some meaningful information to help families and professionals working with families.

Why should parents be concerned about sibling’s feelings?

Siblings can develop feelings of jealousy, resentment, isolation, anxiety or fear because they have a brother or sister with a special needs and then entire family is affected

When parents are also worried about siblings they are more likely to feel stressed

When siblings’ feelings about their special needs brother or sister are not addressed they are more likely to develop anxieties, frustrations and guilt


Will I get to spend time alone with my mother or father?

Do my parents still care about me?

How will I explain my brother or sister to my friends?

Why doesn’t my brother/sister have to do chores and all the things I have to?

Why does my brother/sister act that way?

I am embarrassed when people stare at my sister/brother and my family

How am I going to play with my brother or sister?

It seems my brother/sister gets so much more attention

Will I catch what my brother or sister has?

SIBLINGS MAY FEEL   (Confused, Lonely, Jealous, Guilty, Fearful, Responsible, Sad, Angry, Frustrated)

Stress from embarrassment

Stress from not being able to engage with their brother or sister

Stress from aggression from their sibling

Stress by their own perceived future responsibilities of taking care of their sibling

They can feel ignored or uninformed & so left out

They may feel left alone due to their sib’s medical treatments

They can feel resentment when family plans have to change because of sibling behaviors

They may feel they might get what their brother/sister has

They may feel fear wondering if their sibling is going to die

They might feel jealous due to all the extra time their sibling requires

They could feel guilty & think they did something to cause their sibling’s problems

They could feel guilty because they complain about their brother or sister and they know they are the one without the disability

They will feel sad because the future is so uncertain

They may feel embarrassed of their sibling’s looks, behaviors or inability to communicate

They will feel confused because they lack the information about the disability


More To Come!



Well-Being For Those Who Care for, Teach, Love someone with special needs

Each of us has to find our own ways of creating Well-Being. When we support, love, teach or care for individuals with special needs we truly need to develop a Wellness Plan. Here are a few ideas for your plan

  • Join or create a support group for likeminded providers
  • Do things you love (movie, massage, music lessons, gardening, concerts)
  • Exercise (Walk, bike ride, swim, dance)
  • Spend time in Nature
  • Spend some time in Silence
  • Laugh more: “Laughter is inner jogging: 100 belly laughs are the cardiovascular equivalent of 10 minutes of rowing”
  • Write it down: Take a minute & write down what is stressing you. Make two lists, things which you can control & things you cannot. Focus on those you can control
  • At the end of each day write down the positives of the day
  • Learn to say NO
  • Spend time with people who do not drain you but energize you
  • Did you know that meditation actually increases the thickness of the prefrontal cortex & slows down thinning that occurs as we age?
  • Did you know that University of California in Los Angeles USA, found mindfulness & meditation helped lower feelings of loneliness?
  • Did you know that the University of Michigan in USA documented lower levels of post-traumatic stress disorder after mindfulness in their military veterans?
  • Did you know that researchers at North Carolina University in USA found there was an increase in positive emotions when people practiced mindfulness, acceptance & good physical health?
  • Did you know that in Silicon Valley, in California, USA at the General Mills, company they have set up Meditation rooms in every building?
  • Did you know that Phil Jackson, coach of the Los Angeles Lakers Basketball Team in USA, encouraged longer sleeping & mindfulness for his players?
  • Did you know that Dr. Levy at University of Washington, USA says that Meditation is like doing repetitions at the gym, it strengths your attention muscle?
  • Dr. Schuller said, “Optimism produces health, healing, energy & power
  • Here are a few of his wisdoms
  • We have the choice to look at any situation and take it with a negative or positive attitude (choose positive)
  • Look at what you have left, not what you have lost
  • Keep your optimism growing by tapping into positive memories? Recall them, especially successes, learn from them, they can bring you power
  • Calm down. Relax. Think. Don’t make key decisions at a low point in your life
  • Believe things are possible. Set clear goals so life can improve. Devote time to these goals
  • Start small. Think Tall. Take small steps at first but never lose sight of the end results you want
  • IF WE FOLOW Dr. Schuller’s wisdoms we are helping achieve better health, increasing our energy & developing power to help those who need us to help them.
  • Robin Sharma is an author, speaker and coach. He believes that to be our best we will want to:
  • Focus on the things we do best
  • Be Kind
  • Give sincerely from the heart
  • Make choices that are right not just easy
  • Keep a journal of experiences & evaluate them & learn from them
  • Have bravery to try & fail than never to have tried at all
  • Take a weekly sabbatical & be alone for a few minutes
  • Have a Grateful Mantra & say daily
  • Learn to ask for what you want
  • Read great books
  • Forgive
  • Drink Fresh Juice
  • Develop three great friendships
  • Stop Complaining
  • Savor the simple stuff
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself
  • Live each day in a worthwhile way