Severe autism and newborn babies

Welcoming a new baby as a brother with severe autism

We welcome the newest addition to our family, Billie, on October 3rd. She’s tiny and perfect. I’ve been sharing photos and videos on social media, and sure enough, the questions started flowing. I don’t mind questions unless they’re tinted with judgment. As a reminder, Charlie is diagnosed with level 3, severe autism, and his baby sister isn’t even two weeks old. She’s only 6lbs.

“Why don’t you show Charlie with Billie?”
“How come we only see Jude?”
“What about Charlie?”

The answer is simple: Charlie, just, isn’t really interested. He ignores his little sister. I don’t mean just a little, I mean that, to Charlie, Billie is transparent. Does that make me sad? It does, in a way. But it’s not a surprise to me.

When asked, “how do you think Charlie is going to react to his little sister,” I always answered, “he’ll ignore her until she’s old enough to get him a snack.” So far, bullseye.

Charlie is most interested in people who offer him something, whether that’s attention, tickles, or food. He’s not inclined to, I guess you’d say, seek out interaction for the sake of interaction. Billie can’t offer much that’s interesting to him, at this point.

I’m not upset about it. It’s a lot better than the aggression he displayed when Jude was born.

No, I won’t let my son, who has severe autism, hold his baby sister. It’s about safety.

“Why don’t you let Charlie hold the baby?”

Because it’s not safe.

Charlie doesn’t understand how fragile Billie is, nor can we explain to him that he needs to support her head and not just drop her on the floor when he’s done. He doesn’t want to hold her, anyway.

Severe autism and babies don’t mesh well, and that’s okay. I love my three babies, whether they interact with each other or not ❤️

Enjoy this picture of Charlie and Billie, obtained under safe circumstances with an apple pie bribe. 😉

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