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Dear Amy: I have a 9-year-old special needs child. "Kyle" is high-functioning on the autism spectrum, but he 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 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.

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. Am I wrong to get so worked up over this?

Amy says: 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.

They will not spontaneously step up, because they don't know how. Do they need an invitation from their older brother? Unfortunately, yes. Invite your brothers (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 relationship with Kyle, which would grow as these uncles become more confident.

Wedding blues

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

After sending our invitations, stating a time of 2:30 p.m., one of my aunts texted, "We have a conflict that we are working around. For us, if it was later in the day, it would be better." I later found out that her conflict is a garage sale she's planning to have.

This week, another uncle texted: "How late in the evening do you plan for the reception to go?"

I believe if this were not a gay wedding, these inappropriate questions would never be asked. I don't think they consider this wedding "real." Am I overreacting in being offended?

Amy says: I am happy to report that you are not being discriminated against. I've heard plenty of wedding-day stories, many of which make your aunt's and uncle's requests seem minor in perspective.

The further happy news is that none of this will matter. You'll have a grand time.

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