Accommodating someone’s autism can be difficult when you are sharing a house with them. But if there is more than one autistic person in a house it can be even more difficult for them to accommodate each other’s autism, for example you could have one person who absolutely hates the smell of a certain food, and another person who will only eat that particular food. Each person can have a routine that they feel they have to stick to, and these two routines could contradict each other. Even though the two autistic people may have a good understanding of autism it doesn’t mean it will be any easier for them to accommodate the other person’s autism. But because autism does tend to run in families situations, where two or more people with autism are sharing a house are quite common.
The main problem can arise from the fact that while autistic people might be willing to compromise with some things, there will be other things that they simply cannot give in on. If one sibling has an extreme sensitivity to sound and the other one constantly yells and screams, it is obvious that there is going to be conflict. Of course in this situation they both need to work at finding some kind of compromise, and they may need help from the parents with this. It is not fair for the one sibling to run around screaming and shouting – whatever their reasons for doing it are – but on the other hand the sibling with sound sensitivity will learn that their brother or sister will have to scream and shout sometimes, and they will need to try to find ways of coping with that.
. A lot of people would think that neuro-typicals adjusting their behaviour to accommodate someone with autism is the most difficult thing, but this simply isn’t true. It is not to say that two autistic people living in a house together can’t have a good relationship – in fact a lot of autistic people end up getting married to someone who also has autism, but this is different from having two people with autism being required to spend a large amount of time in the same house as each other, such as siblings, or parent and child. There is no reason that two or more people with autism shouldn’t live together, and get on perfectly well for the majority of the time, but it would seem highly improbable that they could do so without having any kind of conflict. The most important thing for people to do in this situation is to try to think how they would want the other person to treat them – if you want other people to adjust their behaviours to make life easier for you, you have to adjust yours a little bit as well. If someone is unable to do this or they simply don’t have the understanding of what they need to do, then spending time apart could be very important. This gives everybody a chance to be on their own and to relax, to do what they want, and behave however they need to without having to worry about taking somebody else’s autism in to account.
Something else you could try – and again only if you are able to – is to talk to each other about how you experience autism; what it means for both of you, your similarities and differences. Try to explain what you need from the other person. If the people with autism struggle to do this then parents, or siblings can help obviously. There are lots of couples who are both autistic who have very happy relationships, and also some who have children who are autistic as well. These aren’t relationships devoid of conflict – no relationships are; be it between neuro-typicals, autistics, or neuro-typicals and autistics – but they are relationships where people have a good understanding of each other’s needs, and do their best to accommodate them – that`s the basis for any relationship – be it with a family member, a partner or your children.
As with so many other things in life, autism just takes something that is perfectly normal and makes itthat bit more complicated – complicated, but most definitely not impossible.
My name is Paddy-Joe Moran. I am a 19 year old autistic author of two books, and co-founder of autism advice service ASK-PERGERS?If you need any more help or advice about Asperger`s, or simply want to talk about it check out my free help and advice service ASK-PERGERS? On Twitter https://twitter.com/ASKPERGERS Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ASKPERGERS?ref=hl
Also to read more from me go to my blog https://askpergers.wordpress.com/
And have a look at my books (at the time published under pseudonyms, but I did co-write them trust me on that!) http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book/9781843106227