REVIEWS - Understanding Brothers and Sisters on the Autism Spectrum


Library Journal

This program is a great resource for families who have children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and siblings who are neurotypical (NT). The DVD is divided into four programs, three geared toward children of various ages and one for parents. The filmmakers brilliantly use interviews with NT siblings and parents to document the issues that exist among family members...The programs geared toward children provide excellent modeling behavior… interviewees show maturity beyond their years and provide pointers and coping mechanisms that will help viewers better understand their siblings...strongly recommended for all libraries...


School Library Journal

...The interviews are interspersed with narrative segments that offer encouragement and insights. The siblings interviewed are articulate and candid about the challenges and joys of living with their autistic siblings. The DVD offers practical advice and support and stresses positive reinforcement and patience as effective tools....


Teresa Bolick, Psychologist and Author

Thanks so much for sending me a copy of Understanding Brothers and Sisters on the Autism Spectrum. I just finished watching the whole DVD. In a word, “WOW!” During each segment, I found myself saying, “This is the best part.” Then, I’d feel the same way in the next segment!  


Some specific strengths:

 Each program is sensitive to the developmental level of the target audience without “talking down.”  The siblings did an admirable job of presenting balanced viewpoints: identifying the strengths of their brothers or sisters, while also acknowledging problems.

The parents were equally candid. Each portrayed the individual needs of all of their children.

The narration provided by Jessie and Dan helped to frame the attention of the viewer. Both did a nice job of alerting the viewer about what to look and listen for and then re-capping key points.

The focus on communication, with or without outside support, came through loud and clear. This is such an important message, especially for families that are often “just too exhausted to talk about one more problem.”

The entire video instills hope, but the last segment with the parents was especially optimistic. 

I cannot wait to begin sharing this with the families and professionals I know. Thank you so much for creating such a valuable resource for all of us.             


Gena P. Barnhill, Ph.D., Author of Right Address…Wrong Planet: Children with Asperger Syndrome Becoming Adults, Assistant Professor of Special Education at Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, VA, and parent of an adult son with AS

Once again, Coulter Video created another outstanding DVD resource entitled, Understanding Brothers and Sisters on the Autism Spectrum. This DVD contains three programs that parents can choose from to best meet the needs of their child’s age and developmental level. Program Four is 35 minutes in length and is designed for parents. Many parents assume that their children know more about autism than they actually do. This program includes interviews of parents who have children on the autism spectrum and suggests that parents focus on what the family can do together as a team. Program One is seven minutes in length, features puppets, and is most appropriate for siblings from ages 4 – 7 years. It reassures young children that you cannot give someone autism and you cannot “catch it.”  Program Two (ages 7-12 years) and Program Three (12 years through adult) are 25 and 27 minutes in length and include narration and interviews with siblings. The siblings provide candid comments on their experiences living with one or more siblings with ASD. They describe what bothers them about their sibling(s) and also they explain their siblings’ strengths. The interviewees also suggested that brothers and sisters need to realize that their sibling with ASD is not doing things just to annoy them. This 4-program DVD provides many different perspectives that wouldhelp all families understand and better cope with autism spectrum disorders.


Robert Naseef, Ph.D., Psychologist, author Special Children, Challenged Parents, co-editor Voices from the Spectrum, parent of an adult child with autism

Parents worry about the voices they have trouble hearing - the voices of the other child. These videos bring those voices to life with interviews of siblings of various ages.  Listen to these brothers and sisters - refreshingly honest, compassionate, and embracing the full emotional range of reactions to a life that is different and challenging.  Extremely valuable for families and professionals who serve them.  (This review covers two videos: "Understanding Brothers and Sisters on the Autism Spectrum" and "Understanding Brothers and sisters with Asperger Syndrome.)


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