how can i toughen up my autistic little brother?

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Toscana
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he doesnt have severe autism and you cant even tell he has autism until he gets upset. however, he is VERY sensitive, too sensitive even for autistic people i imagine. for example, he has a mental breakdown when anybody says no to him (not an exaggeration) or laughs at him. my mom wants to send him to a normal secondary school and this is fine and all as hes not an idiot or anything. its just, hes too sensitive to survive secondary school. granted, hes only 8 but still very sensitive for an 8 year old. i wasnt anywhere near as sensitive as him when i was his age and i still had a rough time in secondary school. im worried hes going to get absolutely bullied when he leaves primary school. i'd rather him just go to a special school if he hasnt toughened up at all. is there any way to toughen him up as im his only male role model? thanks
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MidgetFever
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You can't just 'toughen up' mental illness. Autistic people perceive social situations in a different way to those that don't have autism, it isn't something you can just fix with tough love.

He's better off seeing a professional to help cope with it.
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Toscana
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(Original post by MidgetFever)
You can't just 'toughen up' mental illness. Autistic people perceive social situations in a different way to those that don't have autism, it isn't something you can just fix with tough love.

He's better off seeing a professional to help cope with it.
i didnt know autism was a mental illness. thought it was just a condition? i try to talk to my mom about it (who also has autism) and she says hes fine and that he will become less sensitive by the time he goes to secondary school. ill have to talk to my mom about it more
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Psychsie
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It’s a Neurodevelopmental condition and no there is no ‘toughening up’. Although people can adjust and learn to cope, it is a stressful process and the limit varies from person to person. People with autism often struggle in social situations or sensory overload, and the limits to what they can cope with will vary. Please discuss this with a healthcare professional or your brother’s current school, they should provide support during the transition period.
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MidgetFever
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(Original post by Toscana)
i didnt know autism was a mental illness. thought it was just a condition? i try to talk to my mom about it (who also has autism) and she says hes fine and that he will become less sensitive by the time he goes to secondary school. ill have to talk to my mom about it more
It's been recognised by the American Psychiatric Association as a mental health disorder.

I mean at the end of the day I suppose it's your mum that has the final say on what school he goes to.
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KittyGurl
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Males tend to take longer to mature than females. Him being overly sensitive at 8 isn't something to worry about. It's likely that this will change as he goes through puberty.

However, as other people have noted. He's got a condition that may mean he's as sensitive as he is now (unlikely) for his whole life. There's nothing that you can do, especially, to 'toughen' him up.

I'm assuming what you'd like to do is bully him into not crying - this will only result in a bad relationship.
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harrysbar
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(Original post by Toscana)
he doesnt have severe autism and you cant even tell he has autism until he gets upset. however, he is VERY sensitive, too sensitive even for autistic people i imagine. for example, he has a mental breakdown when anybody says no to him (not an exaggeration) or laughs at him. my mom wants to send him to a normal secondary school and this is fine and all as hes not an idiot or anything. its just, hes too sensitive to survive secondary school. granted, hes only 8 but still very sensitive for an 8 year old. i wasnt anywhere near as sensitive as him when i was his age and i still had a rough time in secondary school. im worried hes going to get absolutely bullied when he leaves primary school. i'd rather him just go to a special school if he hasnt toughened up at all. is there any way to toughen him up as im his only male role model? thanks
I think a mainstream school should be fine as long as they are supportive towards students with Special Needs - the mainstream school I work at has an Inclusion Unit, for example, where vulnerable pupils can go to get support if they are feeling overwhelmed and need help with stuff. It is important that he gets an official diagnosis as that will mean he is also entitled to support from teaching assistants in the classroom who can discreetly keep an eye on him. It is also quite possible that he will become more resiliant as he gets older and more mature, but if not, he won't be the only very sensitive Year 7 to enter his school that year. It is important that your mum communicates with the school about what he is like and what they can do to support him.
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Tenya Iida
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(Original post by harrysbar)
I think a mainstream school should be fine as long as they are supportive towards students with Special Needs - the mainstream school I work at has an Inclusion Unit, for example, where vulnerable pupils can go to get support if they are feeling overwhelmed and need help with stuff. It is important that he gets an official diagnosis as that will mean he is also entitled to support from teaching assistants in the classroom who can discreetly keep an eye on him. It is also quite possible that he will become more resiliant as he gets older and more mature, but if not, he won't be the only very sensitive Year 7 to enter his school that year. It is important that your mum communicates with the school about what he is like and what they can do to support him.
autistic person whos had a stable SEND unit (similar to your inclusion unit) for the last three or so years here: SEND units are a godsend in most cases.
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by MidgetFever)
It's been recognised by the American Psychiatric Association as a mental health disorder.

I mean at the end of the day I suppose it's your mum that has the final say on what school he goes to.
Don't confuse illness and disorder, it can be pretty offensive.
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Bang Outta Order
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Show him love
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williamho
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autism is a mental disorder where each brain cells cannot interact with each other

i do hope that the doctor has tested and provided a written proof

It is not good saying...i think...i believe...he has autism,,,get a professional person to diagnose first

Because the younger your brother, the easier to help him with his difficulties and minimise his disorder

And also stop talking down at him.
At least it is a start from you
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SkyRunner61
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OP, if your brother is only eight, does a decision really need to be made at this stage about where he’s going to secondary school?

(Original post by williamho)
It is not good saying...i think...i believe...he has autism,,,get a professional person to diagnose first
Where did the OP say they ‘thought’ or ‘believed’ their brother is autistic?
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MidgetFever
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
Don't confuse illness and disorder, it can be pretty offensive.
Either way, my point was it isn't something you can just toughen up.

As in, you're picking into something that I clearly didn't intend to be offensive
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Bob Johns
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Scrap him, there's no better way to straighten up your mind than getting yours decked.
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YaliaV
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It’s very sweet that you care about him so much. Just be there for him and make sure he gets the proper support.
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Sam Paul
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(Original post by Toscana)
he doesnt have severe autism and you cant even tell he has autism until he gets upset. however, he is VERY sensitive, too sensitive even for autistic people i imagine. for example, he has a mental breakdown when anybody says no to him (not an exaggeration) or laughs at him. my mom wants to send him to a normal secondary school and this is fine and all as hes not an idiot or anything. its just, hes too sensitive to survive secondary school. granted, hes only 8 but still very sensitive for an 8 year old. i wasnt anywhere near as sensitive as him when i was his age and i still had a rough time in secondary school. im worried hes going to get absolutely bullied when he leaves primary school. i'd rather him just go to a special school if he hasnt toughened up at all. is there any way to toughen him up as im his only male role model? thanks
Do not send him to special school, when I was younger I attended one, yes I did a lot of my GCSE’s early but the bulling will be worse because no one understands emotions so with the school I attended it was teenage boys with no empathy, sympathy or remorse, he won’t get as strong of a education because you get a lot of nice people working in special schools not smart people, I am autistic and extremely high functioning but because of the spectrum they try to help every body but it doesn’t work, I liked clear borders and that really helped me but the other lads didn’t so I had to suffer because they weren’t as socially able as me. If you want to harden him up rugby is the best sport camaraderie and friendships created are great but you also have to learn how to loose gracefully, and it teaches resilience in the face of diversity.
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Rainbownerd8664
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I have exactly the same condition and 'toughening up' is really not an option, one thing I will suggest is teaching him the so called 'poker face' if kids are going to bully and annoy him, it'll fuel them on to know it upsets and hurts him. i know from experience that showing emotion to bullies is not a good idea. better yet make sure the secondary school has a good special educational needs facility and support network for him to go to if he does get bullied
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hxdzz_m
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sprinkle some tenderiser

Hope that helps x
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Rainbownerd8664
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dude not funny
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Jess.1819
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Autism is on a spectrum so technically we’re all autistic in a way, it’s not a mental illness it’s just a difference in the way their brains work.

My ex boyfriend had mild autism (Aspergers), similar to how you describe your brothers, he got bullied a lot and was very secretive and sad but he was one of the strongest people I knew, he suffered so much but if you let them know you’re there for them and they can open up to you then it’s enough, he always said how much I helped him and how much happier he was. Just be there for your brother, he’ll get through it.
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