How can I help my 10 year old understand my daughter has Autism?

We recently found out my daughter (5) is high functioning autistic. My son (10) asked me what was wrong with her. He knows she doesn’t think like him when she talks. She doesn’t always make sense. I would like him to understand her better, but I can’t find words to help me explain in a way he will understand. Does anyone have a solution? Advice?


Everybody’s their own person everyone comes in different shapes sizes an colors.
Let him know his sister is just a little behind on learning due to health reasoning.

Maybe it’s an idea.
But I wouldnt no exactly what to say either. So maybe someone can help guide u in right direction!

This is kinda a silly question to ask about a 10 year old, but did he ever watch Sesame Street episodes with Julia?


I think there are books you can buy that help explain things to kids

There’s children books that can help him have a better understanding.

Explain that she is different but in a good way tell him that she will do things differently and that’s ok but make sure you let him know that it’s okay to be different and also try to get him to join in on some of the things she does different so that it doesn’t make him feel as though she’s doing it the wrong way it will give him a better understanding and also make her feel good

Me and my son who has Autism watch Special Books by Special Kids.

I know you’ll find something that will help your child maybe understand a lil more.

You’re such a good mama.

I think the book is “my brother Charlie” it’s about a girl who’s twin brother is autistic.

Also, at 10 he might have already run into someone with autism so you might just want to be super honest and explain in as simple of terms as possible that she thinks and acts different because her brain is a little different than everyone else’s. It doesn’t make her any less of a person, but it does mean your job as a big brother is even more important. (Then give an example(and this might not apply- she might be high functioning i can’t tell from the post)- maybe something like “she might forget that you have to hold a grown up’s hand to cross the street or that you have to look both ways. Maybe you can help me remind her and keep an eye out for those kinds of things?”)


There is a book by Kathy Hoopmann called “All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome” that helped my daughter with her brother, not sure if this would apply for your son. There are a lot of books out there, tho.

At 10 years old I feel like he should already know about/understand children with disabilities. I would say maybe try a certain show/video or maybe even a book if your not sure on how to have him understand yourself.

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I would keep it in very simple terms id just explain that some people/kids might need extra help or see the world a little different than others do but we love them just the same even tho they can’t always understand things the way we do and sometimes they need extra love, space and patience to get them through their harder days, and even tho they might not tell us they show us love in their own unique way

I am a huge fan of being honest with kids. Explain it as layman as you can, and encourage him to ask questions. No matter how uncomfortable, keep your game face, and answer as honestly as you can. Explain to him that life will be tougher for her, but with all of your love and understanding, it will make it easier. But PLEASE remind him he is not his sister’s keeper, and that he has to have his own life. And that needs to always talk to you if things are bothering him.

There are so many support groups for mom’s in the same situation. Try a few out, and see which one you like the best.

And as always, I ironically have to say, let’s everyone’s advice bounce off of you, and pick up the pieces you like. No one will ever know what’s best for your family but you.

The courage of asking this question alone shows you got this. Good luck with your family, you’re going to be great!


I have a step son who has autism. How I explained it to my kids, 8 and 3 at the time is that everyone’s brain is different. Some people love certain things other people dislike the same thing. I said my step son sees the world differently, understands the world differently, and communicates differently. He hears everything and sees everything, his mind doesn’t shut anything out so he gets overwhelmed. So we just have to help him. They got it after a while!

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join a few autistic fb groups. :slight_smile: my youngest is autistic and i had to go thru the same thing like u.

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I think theres a series of sesame street with an autistic puppet that talks about her struggles and helps big bird try to understand what shes different

It really depends. As a mom I have a tough time explaining my son’s differences to adults even.
I think picking specific things to explain may help? my son will say certain phrases that are kind of out of context or he’ll say “ey” to everything. Like colley for his brothers name or Grammey instead of grandma
And for those behaviors I say something like…
“Hes like what I like to call a mimic. He hears phrases that sound good to his ears and he obsesses about them and repeats them a lot because he likes that feeling. He doesnt always quite understand what hes saying just that he likes how it sounds”

My grandson explained it best. I was taking treats to his classroom .There was a young boy in his grade with autism who would be joining the room for awhile that day to recieve treats. He said grandma sometimes he yells when he gets too excited but don’t worry he has autism which means his brain just works differently than most. He is a good guy.


There’s a great show on Netflix called atypical! It is a little mature but shows a more functioning version of autism and he has an older sister who doesn’t have autism and they are super close!:purple_heart:

I tell my daughter (10) that her brother (6) is just different. His brain works differently than ours. Patience is a must. She also knows that if she needs a break she just has to ask for it. It can be a lot for a young one to handle.

I tell my older son that his brother’s brain just works differently than ours. What he says doesn’t always make sense to the world, but it makes sense to him and the people that know him well can tell what he means. He needs more help with some things (like self care) and for longer than others might need help for, but he’s our special guy and he brings a unique perspective to our lives.


Be honest, straight to the point, easy to follow talk,explain that his sister is different, has special needs, needs a lot of understanding and routine, never isolate another sibling, once the other sibling can cope with all of this, it will become easier to live with all.

Following. My son’s half sister (same dad diff moms) has autism and he’s 5 and she is 10. He doesn’t notice that she’s “different” but I’m trying to explain it to him in a way he will understand so as he gets older he’s aware.

You can tell him Autism is like being in a foreign city where everyone is moving so fast and you can’t understand the language. Her brain process the information differently than his. I have two boys on the spectrum. Ages 8 and 5.


I agree you should show him videos about it. I’m sure if you search YouTube you can find videos specifically made for children and worded in a way that he can understand

My 3 year old understands that he 4 year old brother is different and we handle his outbursts differently.

Tell him there are lots of different people god made us all different and we should love everyone the same


I explain mine this way: I am not broken, I am not damaged, I just run on a different operating system. Like the difference between mac, and windows. Just different and it takes some extra compatibility software.


Hi there how did u no yr daughter was autistic my granddaughter is 3 don’t sleep slow on speacial puts everything in order and doesn’t communicate with other kids likes to be in her own can you tel me is that a sign and how to go about it please

Show him a video about it

be honest. straight up honest.

Them doing activities together could help form a stronger bonding and help him understand more too start small

This could be a helpful children’s book. And there are other books when you Google “books explaining to children about autism”

They make a ton of “sibling to special needs” books (kid & adult). I’ve worked with families with special needs children (and siblings) for 20 years feel free to pm me. :blush:

My daughter was just diagnosed with aspergers. I read her Inside Asperger’s looking out by Kathy Hoopman. It helped her understand why she’s different and that different doesn’t mean less than.


Her brain is just wired differently than his. There’s nothing wrong, just different. Tell him how boring the world would be if everyone were the same.


First of all I would tell him nothing is “wrong with her” she is just as God made her. And going off of that I would let him know that some people are born w brown eyes some w blue some people are short some are tall. Everyone is different and unique in their own way and this is her way. If he asks questions about autism there are loads of sites you can look up. is a really good one.


Take him to a doctor’s appointment and have her doc help explain it. Maybe offer some age appropriate reading material and just be completely honest. My prayers mom :heart::heart::heart:

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There are kids books at the library that will help.


Check out a company called -A kids book about- they have many different topics and all are kid friendly and easy for them to understand, I’m unsure if they have one on autism but It’s worth checking out…

My son is 14 and has Aspergers. My daughter is 16. She shows no mercy. She’s a great person, compassionate and kind but I have to constantly remind her that I am lenient with her brother because he process’s things different. She sometimes tells me it’s not fair but I sit with her one on one and explain that I have different expectations for both of them since they are different. I have to push them to their maximum capacity so they can gain confidence and become independent and sometimes I push a bit less if I see my son is frustrated or feels defeated. What did help was sending my son to see a behavioral therapist and joining a social peer group 13 week class. It helped my son understand better how to communicate and not be so literal. That helped their relationship a bit. Good luck

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My 9 year old has down syndrome and I explain to her sister (6) that she learns differently, that she takes more time to understand things, to learn and that she should help when she can, instead of being upset that, for example, she doesnt understand a game rule. She forgets about it super fast though lol but they have an incredible bond!

His brain is Apple and hers is android :grin: that’s properly a language he understands …
Tell him about her “things” our son (13) has infantile autism in a mild degree … he likes it when things are “in boxes” if we tell him “tomorrow we’re going to Disneyland” we have to go … tell him the signs as you discover them …

All Cats Have Asperger’s is a good book for young kids…