Interview with a girl about living with a brother who has Aspergers syndrome


What is like to have a sibling with Asperger Syndrome? In this interview, Chiara discusses life with her brother who has Asperger syndrome.


Tell us a little about yourself…

My name is Chiara, I am ten years old and in year six at school. I like dancing, playing the piano and talking.


Tell us a little about your brother…

Damian has Asperger Syndrome, is thirteen years old and goes to high school.


How do you feel about having a brother with this type of disability?

It's a bit annoying but it's not a major problem.


Why is it a bit annoying?

Because we all have to help him with extra stuff.


Does having a brother with Asperger Syndrome affect your social life? If so… how?

Yes, it's helped me understand people that have Asperger Syndrome. I was the only person who understood a girl at school because she has a similar disability to Damian, and now she's my best friend.


What are some of his behaviors that you find difficult?

His arguing with everyone so much and the fact that he has to be "always right!". The disability makes him moody a lot and I have to remind him to do things all the time because he forgets.


How do you feel when he displays these behaviors?

When he argues, even if it's not with me but with Mum, I feel really angry and go to my room.


How do you cope with them?

When I get angry and go to my room, I put on some music and dance. Sometimes I put on my meditation CD to help me calm down.


Do you feel different because you have a brother with Asperger Syndrome?

I don't know, because I don't know what it would be like if he didn't have Asperger Syndrome.


Would you feel differently about your brother if he didn't have Asperger Syndrome?

I don't know, but I probably would because he's really smart and funny, and I don't think he would be so smart and funny if he didn't have AS.


Do you have any advice for other siblings of young adults with Asperger Syndrome?

Don't get mad if they get angry, just keep calm. Remember that it's Asperger Syndrome so they can't really help it and try to help them.




Chiara is ten years of age and lives with her brother Damian who has Asperger Syndrome, and her mother Josie Santomauro who is an author of self-published Asperger Syndrome - Resources and of the upcoming AAPC publication Space Traveler. The Santomauros live in Brisbane, Australia. To find out more about the Santomauro family and Asperger Syndrome you can go to contact Josie at


Close this Aspergers personal story of a sibling's experiences with the autism spectrum

Copyright 2004. Reprinted with the author's permission.
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Chiara is the daughter of Josie Santomauro, author of Asperger's books, and talks about living with her brother Damian, who has Asperger syndrome