Naturally, this territory comes with lots of ups and downs. There are good days, bad days, struggles and triumphs. Everything is a little bit harder when you have a special needs sibling, but that also makes things much more rewarding.
There are the obvious struggles that come with being a sibling of special needs kids, like being a different kind of family, helping the sibling learn and grow, and not being totally overshadowed by them. It depends on the person too, and the family dynamic. For me, it was always a bit easier with Philip. I’m older, and I understand what it’s like to be different (I was bullied as a child).
My younger sister however, had trouble adjusting at first. She and Phil are 22 months apart, and since she was an infant she LOVED being in the spotlight. Once Phil came along, she was no longer the baby and didn’t get the same amount of attention. She was embarrassed of him, sad, confused by the situation, and as disturbing as that may sound, those emotions are very common among siblings of special needs individuals. And however saddening that may seem, she has become a strong, supportive sister since then. She’s developed qualities that very few people spend a life time trying to understand and master-She’s disciplined, a leader and team player; she able to teach people in a way that helps the learner understand and care. through Philip she’s become stronger, compassionate and patient (that last one is still a struggle for her sometimes). But it’s all about the growth. Philip has helped everyone he knows to develop a quality(s) that they may not otherwise have been able to acquire. He helps us, as we help him.
I did some research to see what else was out there, and came up with lots of links! There are tons of people around the world going through the same kinds of struggles with siblings of special needs individuals. I thought of my sister and how she has changed, and noticed a lot of the same issues/struggles and triumphs throughout the stories. Some of these are other blogs, and others are websites.
Check them out! (And as always, feel free to comment and share this!!)
This next one is a bit painful to read, but it’s important and honest . . .