Her Parents Want Her Brother With Autism to Move In With Her. She Said No.

For some parents of people with special needs, it’s a question always in the back of their minds: who will take care of my child when I’m gone? Some expect their other children to fill their shoes, while others wonder if it’s fair to ask it of them.

After 24-year-old Reddit user Throwautistic had a tense conversation with her parents about the future of her brother with autism, she turned to an online community for advice. The user’s parents expect her to move her brother, who’s five years younger than her, into her home and offer him full-time care after they pass away. The young woman would prefer to find him an assisted living facility where he can be more independent. According to the user, her parents see this as abandoning her brother.

They told me I was being selfish and they were very hurt that I wouldn’t help him,” the user wrote. “My parents are so sad and I don’t know what to say to comfort them. What can I do? Am I being too selfish? Some insight would really help me.”

More than 200 comments rolled in. Redditors responded with words support and advice. Take a look at a few answers:

1. “You are an adult. You have the right to make your own decisions. Do what works for you.”

2. “I’m watching my mother deal with a high-needs sibling (not autistic so not quite the same) and even with the sibling in a home, it is [expletive] hard. It’s not a question of loving or not loving your sibling, and it’s not a question of abandonment. It’s a question of the reality of a high-needs condition.”

3. “Having your brother in a supported group home is not abandoning him. It’s allowing him to have his own life.”

4. “Has anyone asked your brother what he wants to do? He’s a person with wants, needs, and desires too.”

5. “Separately clarify to your brother that just because you are moving away does not mean that he isn’t loved by you.

See the whole conversation here.

What’s your take? Should brothers and sisters be expected to take care of their siblings? Let us know in the comments below.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

A Love Letter to My Future Wife, From Your Autistic Husband

I was 5 years old the first time I knew I’d fall in love and get married one day. I envisioned meeting you by the time I turned 25, having kids when we were 30 and maybe most importantly, being the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. We’ve certainly come a long way. When I [...]

When a Hug From Your Child Is the Rare Moment You Long For

We all have those times in life when we look back at an event or moment and wish we had a picture of it. Sometimes there are moments that you just wish you had something to look back on. I am so thankful someone captured this picture for me. Many people would look at this [...]

Illinois May Be the First State to Allow Medical Marijuana Use for Autism

Illinois is well on its way to becoming the first state to allow autism as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana use. On Wednesday, Oct. 7, the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board recommended eight conditions and diseases be added to the list of 39 that are already approved under the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical [...]

What You Don’t Know About the Perspective of a Special Needs Dad

I’ve always garnered strength (and the best info!) from a community of dedicated moms. Noticing a void amongst the fathers who must crave that same sense of community, I asked for a dad to submit his perspective of parenting a child with special needs. No one was more surprised than me when my own husband [...]