Explaining mental illness to the siblings.

How do you explain mental illness to a child with Autism?

 

Rethink Mental Illness
Rethink Mental Illness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are you blunt in your explanations?

Should it be explained?

 

In our family, we have a child with severe mental illness.  He is currently in the hospital.  At home we have his siblings, how do we explain to the siblings the depth of the their brother’s illness?  Or do we just not talk about it?

 

In our house, everyone knows that David has needs that can’t be cared for at home.  They understand that life at home is better without the constant stress of having David here.  They understand lots of things, such as they don’t have to barricade themselves in their rooms.  They can leave their stuff unhidden because David isn’t here to steal anything.  They know that the animals are healthy because David isn’t here to poison them.

 

Yet.

 

They miss David.  In some small way they understand the depths of David’s profound mental illness because they know how it affects them.  We have never hidden it from them.  Honestly, kids know more than we give them credit for.

 

 

 

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