Life Advice



Ask Amy: Special needs child really needs good uncles

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have a 9-year-old special needs child. “Kyle” is high-functioning on the autism spectrum, but doesn’t do well with athletics and other “typical” settings that might help a child fit in, make friends, and otherwise have a functional childhood dynamic.

We worry that he is becoming more socially isolated. We are very engaged and committed to his therapy and well-being. Our small families follow suit (especially both sets of grandparents).

My issue arises from my younger (adult) brothers.

They are both loving uncles, but seemingly detached.

I really resent their lack of effort or involvement that I know my son would benefit from: Whether the occasional day trip to the zoo, park, ballgame, or the treat of an overnight stay.

They haven’t offered in years. They don’t have kids and live nearby.


Growing up, I was the oldest brother who acted as caretaker. I’ve always thought each of them was spoiled and self-centered.

Am I wrong to get so worked up over this? I just cannot get past my disdain.

I know it’s not their job to “parent” their nephew, but a few hours of quality time per month would immeasurably help his psyche.

Your recommendations?


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