Being the sibling of an autistic child must be hard; it is often a lonely place as they grapple with stressed parents, limited resources and parental attention going mostly to their autistic sibling. Sometimes their autistic sibling’s actions – the melt downs or self-injurious behaviours – can be overwhelming and embarrassing for a young teen seeking to forge their identity in the world.
But we also know that siblings of autistic children can use this experience to become more resilient, compassionate, independent and responsive to the needs of others. Each sibling’s journey is unique to them – but like all of us, there are times when they need help and support.
One of our portfolio companies, MindNest, is working on a new product for siblings. They plan to use their parent-training modules, which are based on the know-how of the Yale Child Study Center, and apply them to a new app for siblings. The app could provide the tools for the siblings of autistic children to better understand and help their sibling, their friends – and, importantly, themselves. If we can increase understanding and acceptance, we all win.