Do young siblings of children with autism also go through the grieving process? Am I grasping at straws? Am I just trying to make excuses for my child’s “naughty” behaviors? Is there resentment already at the age of 5? Does she think I don’t love her? All questions going through my head this weekend as we wrap up a week where I feel there was an increase in Alyssa’s behaviors.

The behaviors have been over Courtney’s noises. Behaviors over not having my attention because I’m helping Courtney. Behaviors over therapists being over and focusing on Courtney. Behaviors over having to be flexible because of Courtney. Anyone catching on to the theme?

These behaviors are not just crying tantrums. She gets aggressive towards all involved. They escalate fast. They go from whining to full on hitting Courtney and any adult trying to stop it in the matter of seconds.T

he hardest part of these moments is in the aftermath when she expresses to me that she hates that Courtney has autism. She asks why autism has to be in our family. She asks why she has to have a sister with autism. My heart breaks as she asks these questions.

Alyssa loves her sister. I have no question about that. But she is definitely showing us how it can be hard to be an autism sibling.

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