Encouraging son to spend time with his disabled brother - ideas? — Scope | Disability forum
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Encouraging son to spend time with his disabled brother - ideas?

neil53 Member Posts: 1 Listener
I am the father of a Downs Syndrome  young man who is 28. I am trying to encourage his older brother who is not disabled to spend more time with his brother
How should I go about this?


  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @neil53 welcome to the community!

    How old is your older son? Does he have reasons for not being able to spend time with his brother?
    Senior online community officer
  • Ajk110
    Ajk110 Member Posts: 47

    Hi @neil53 I think the answer depends on a lot of factors, not least how geographically close to each other they are. First, do you know if there is any particular reason why your son does not spend time with his disabled brother? Is there conflict or disagreement between them? Sometimes siblings just aren't as close when they grow up. Second, do they want to spend time with each other? Third, assuming yes, are there things that they have in common? It may be that a prompt from Dad is what's needed – pointing out to your older son something that his brother would be interested in that they could do together. How involved you should become really depends on how happy each of your sons are with the current situation. If they are content with it, then as adults it's their business, however regrettable it might seem that they aren't closer.

    All the best to you all.

  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 Disability Gamechanger
    How are you getting on @neil53 ?
    Senior online community officer
  • Blue Frog
    Blue Frog Member Posts: 358 Pioneering
    Hi @neil53 I am in my 30's and have a slightly younger brother who lives independently about 20 miles away from me.  I try my best to spend time with him, although it isn't always the easiest thing (as he has autism and can present with challenging behaviour)

    I have found it works best when we go and do a specific activity, like going to the cinema, bowling, football - especially when we know it will just be for a couple of hours as this seems to be the best amount of time.  Is there something that both of them like and you could arrange/suggest they do together, or the 3 of you go?

    As @Ajk110 has said, there could be several emotional reasons why it is difficult, but I also know sometimes it is just hard knowing where to start.  
  • OlliHannah
    OlliHannah Member Posts: 30 Connected

    Hi @neil53

    I work as an Information & Advice Worker for Scope and parents very often express concern about their childrens' relationships. I have always found the sibs website a really useful source of information about the dynamics of sibling relationships when one of the siblings has a disability.

    Have a look at their website - they have separate sections for young & adult siblings:


    I hope you find it useful - let us know how you get on


  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @neil53 I wondered how you and your family were getting on?
    Senior online community officer


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