“My Brother is Different:” The Sibling Side of Autism (Guest: Barbara Morvay)

Although we’re better at questions than answers, much has been observed, researched and written about autism. We know it is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States, and we know that raising and teaching an autistic child present patience and skills-stretching challenges daily.

But what about the siblings of an autistic child? What do we know of their concerns, fears and feelings regarding their autistic brother or sister? Additionally, what specific things can we do with the “normal” siblings to help them adapt, adjust and become as resilient and emotionally fit as possible?

Parents have been asking these questions for some time, but there haven’t been many answers. Until now.

Our guest on this program, Barbara  Morvay, has written a ground-breaking book that squarely addresses the siblings of an autistic child, My Brother is Different: A Sibling’s Guide to Coping with Autism. In the book (enthusiastically endorsed by autism advocate, Temple Grandin) and in this interview, Barbara addresses the thoughts “normal” children are afraid to think and the questions they are afraid to ask. Barbara does this by empowering the best counselors a youngster will ever have: Mom and Dad.

Barbara is a retired educator of 37 years. As a Special Education teacher and later principal and superintendent of schools specializing in the education of special needs students, Barbara knows first-hand the challenges involved, but also the victories.

As testimony to her expertise, Barbara was appointed to The Richard Stockton School of New Jersey Board of Trustees, and she was appointed by Governor Chris Christie to the New Jersey Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism. (27:21)


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