Life Advice



Ask Amy: Special needs child really needs good uncles

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

– Upset Dad

Dear Dad: Contact between these uncles and “Kyle” would likely be good for Kyle. It would also be good for your brothers.

Those of us who have special needs family members understand that sometimes the relationship can unlock qualities that will put a person in touch with their own deeper humanity.

If they got to know their nephew, your brothers would see that he has a sense of humor, that he has a unique way of seeing the world and processing information, and, if he connected with them and they formed a close relationship, they would simply be better men.

Do they want to be better men? Maybe not.

They will not spontaneously step up, because they don’t know how. Do they need an engraved invitation from their older brother? Unfortunately, yes, they do.


Rather than sharing your disappointment and disdain, you should ask your brothers for help.

Invite them (one at a time) to go on an outing with you and Kyle.

You are going to have to show them how to be with him, and when you do, one or both of your brothers might develop their own quirky kind of relationship with Kyle, which would grow as these uncles become more confident. You can then ask if they could each take him perhaps one Saturday morning a month for some “uncle time.”

Dear Amy: My fiancé and I have been together for four and a half years. We are getting married next month.


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