People with Autism need a variety of people in their Circle of Support. For example, some of the people are family members, family member friends, the person with a disability’s friends, etc. Each of these groups of people brings a totally different perspective to a Circle of Support.
Family members, whether parents or siblings, are an important part of a Circle of Support. They will be able to provide support in varying degrees depending on their age and the point they are at in their own lives. Since parents and siblings have known their family member longer than anyone else they will provide a perspective no one else will be able to.
Sometimes it is magical that children with Autism manage to make friends. When this happens there should be a concerted effort at including them in Circles of Support. The friends may have disabilities or may not have disabilities. Next to family members, they will for the most part, know the person with Autism longer than paid people.
It is surprising to some people that the family member’s friends might be part of a person with Autism’s Circle of Support. Occasionally a parent’s friends may have known the person with Autism longer than the person with Autism’s friends. They bring a wealth of information and maturity to the Circle.
Typical people who are peers to the person with Autism will have more energy. They will come up with ideas about what people their age are doing. They will also be able to carry out some of the ideas the Circle agrees on.