Multiple Autistic Siblings Subject for Website Autism After 16

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Autism After 16 examines the experience of having multiple autistic siblings in a new article by writer Caroline McGraw. McGraw is herself the sister of an autistic adult.

Some of my friends did not know I had autistic brothers until last year. When we did invite people over, they didn’t quite understand the situation, so we ended up isolating ourselves anyway.--Faith Jegede.

Autism can be an extremely stressful condition for a family to live with. One child on the autism spectrum can challenge a family, but what if multiple children are autistic? Website Autism After 16 examines this issue in “Multiplicity: Life with Two Autistic Siblings.”

Writer Caroline McGraw interviewed two young women, each of whom has two adult brothers with autism. Each woman spoke candidly about her family’s struggles, and about her own concerns regarding having to one day step in as caregiver to her brothers.

McGraw—who has an autistic adult brother herself—talked with Londoner Faith Jegede and Lauren Brown, from California. They each noted how having brothers on the autism spectrum made them mature more quickly than their peers. “I had to grow up very fast, and I didn’t realize that until recently,” said Jegede. “In my late teens, my mom and I had a conversation about it. It was an emotional conversation, because our situation was incredibly intense.” In turn, Brown remembers, “Growing up, I had to defend [my brothers], and always watch over them.” That continues to this day. She recounts a recent shopping trip, saying that one of her brothers, “can’t go to bathroom by himself, so I took him into the ladies’ room with me. And one lady said, ‘What is he doing here?’ So I said, ‘He’s autistic.’”

Autism After 16 editor Merope Pavlides notes that having multiple children with autism is not uncommon. “Research continues to confirm what many families already know personally—that there’s a genetic component to autism spectrum disorders,” she says. “Having more than one autistic child requires families to really think about how they allocate their emotional and fiscal resources.”

Autism After 16 is a website devoted to providing information and analysis of adult autism issues. Autism After 16 provides informational articles on accessing adult services, commentary, links to useful resources, and a library of videos to help teach independent living skills.

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Merope Pavlides
Autism After 16
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