Oftentimes, having an autistic child in your home can lead to a variety of complications. And one of them is not giving your other children their necessary share of attention!

An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for telling my mom that I don’t care about my autistic brother?”. Read on to know what exactly happened.


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The Original Poster’s (OP’s) (16F) parents didn’t have much time for her after her brother (9M) was born and it got even worse after he was diagnosed with autism when he was 3.

OP’s dad is rarely home and her mom is always busy with her brother so neither of them has time for OP.

Meet ‘Rachel’, OP’s Best Friend

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OP has known her best friend “Rachel” since they were in kindergarten. Rachel’s mom is the nicest person OP has ever met.

Rachel and OP played soccer but OP’s mom was rarely able to take her to practices and games so Rachel’s mom would always take OP.

“I used to be in the school choir and my parents went to, like, one performance during the six years I did it. Rachel’s mom was at every performance for me even though Rachel wasn’t in choir.”, says OP.

OP’s Bond With Rachel’s Mom

Child in a school library
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Those are just a few examples, but Rachel’s mom has always been there for OP when her parents weren’t available.

OP’s mom never really cares what she’s doing unless she needs OP to watch her brother so she spends a lot of time at Rachel’s house. Once OP spent a whole weekend there and OP’s mom didn’t even call to ask where OP is.

The Disney World Trip

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Rachel’s family goes on a lot of vacations and they often take OP. They’re going to Disney World during Thanksgiving break and invited OP to come with them.

OP asked her dad and he said she could go. They’ve already planned and booked everything and OP was really excited.

“I’ve been to Disneyland once with my family and it was horrible. My brother threw a huge tantrum on the first day because he wanted to go on the rides alone and sit between mom and dad so I had to stay in the hotel most of the time.”, says OP.

What Happened When OP’s Brother Found Out?

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OP’s brother found out that she’s going to Disney and he had a really big meltdown. He loves Disney and he was mad that OP was going without him.

OP’s mom told her that she was planning to go to Washington to visit her grandparents. OP’s dad didn’t say anything about it so OP is pretty sure her mom just made that up to stop OP from going and even if they are going, OP doesn’t want to.

“I don’t want to go on a fourteen-hour car ride with my brother and I’m pretty sure when we get there, they’re either going to make me stay with him while they go out or take him out and leave me alone in the hotel (I also wouldn’t be allowed to go out on my own).”, says OP.

The Argument Ahead

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OP’s mom told her that she needs to think about her brother and that his feelings are more important because he’s younger and autistic.

OP told her that she honestly doesn’t care about her brother’s feelings and she wishes he was never born.

He was there when OP said all this and he’s been crying and screaming for the last three hours and it’s giving OP a headache.

The Final Chaos

mother in law upset daughter
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“My mom has been trying to calm him down and my dad said that he’ll still let me go because he understands I’m frustrated (he also grew up with neuro-divergent siblings so he knows what it’s like).

My mom said that I’m a rude, ungrateful brat and I need to be kinder to my brother. Am I a jerk?”, asks OP.

Go Be With Your Real Family!

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“Not the jerk. They’ve left you behind in hotels so they can enjoy vacations? They’ve gone days without even noticing you weren’t home? Go be with your real family OP, because they sure aren’t it.”

You Deserve Your Fun Vacay

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“Not the jerk. Who cares about a few unkind things you said when they took you to Disney and LEFT YOU IN THE HOTEL because your brother said so? That’s pretty wild, you deserve your fun Disney vacation too.

Also, when you graduate from HS/college/whatever, invite Rachel’s parents. Her mom sounds like the best.”

Giving Him 100% Of Their Time Is NOT DONE

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“The reason I’m excusing the devastating comment in front of your brother is because your mom has already prioritized him.

This really is awful that a special needs child has hogged all the time, leaving none for you.

Luckily, you have your friend and father to make life easier.

This situation really highlights the complexity of having an autistic child – sure the right thing to do is help them, but is it right to give them 100% of your time and attention?”

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