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Calls to Action

Growing Up with Siblings on the Autism Spectrum

November 18, 2013

An article by The Daily News Journal ( highlights the lessons learned in growing up with a sibling on the autism spectrum. Tennessee teen Marian White has two brothers on the autism spectrum. Her younger brother, 13-year-old Levi, does not speak and is unable to take care of himself while her other brother, James, is more independent.  The siblings have a single mom who works as a home health nurse so Marian pitches in with Levi’s care.

“Marian has had to grow up a lot faster than her friends,” her mother, Denise White, told “I’m proud of her.”

Marian watches Levi’s eating habits and keeps an eye on him in case he tries to wander out of the home.

The Daily News Journal also spoke with 12-year-old Delany Armenta, who has 3 brothers on the autism spectrum. Delany says there are good days and bad days but the thing she really can’t stand is taunting or bullying from others.

“They don’t know anybody is bullying them. They think everybody is playing around with them, and that worries me. What if some stranger got into the school and tried to take them and they just thought he was playing around? That’s scary,” Delaney said.

Like Delaney, Marian is a fierce defender of her brothers and says that others should look for ways to interact with those on the autism spectrum.