Support for Siblings of Children with Special Needs

There are eight things siblings of children with special needs struggle with:

  1. The feeling of needing to be perfect,

  2. Lack of ability to express their feelings,

  3. Different ideas of family and home,

  4. Feeling their problems don’t mean anything,

  5. Isolation,

  6. Dealing with intolerance often and early,

  7. Being asked to help do too much, and

  8. The need to grow up quickly.  

All of those eight things siblings deal with on a daily basis. All siblings love their brothers and sisters with special health care needs but it’s important to acknowledge their struggles and support them just as much.

Some ways you can acknowledge the eight things are:

  • Listening to them,

  • Open a supportive line of communication.

  • Make the siblings feel like they can come to you and talk to you anytime they are having trouble.

  • Show them small gestures and make sure you make time for just you and them every once in a while.

Expect typical behavior out of siblings, and set high expectations which will help your family grow in the long run. Siblings will be there after parents are long gone. Be sure to offer information on their siblings’ special health care needs. Always have a good communication for siblings. Celebrate ALL milestones of the sibling and include siblings in the definition of family.

https://www.siblingsupport.org/documents-for-site/WhatSiblingsWouldLikeParentsandServiceProviderstoKnow.pdf

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2016/12/20/8-things-siblings-of-children-with-special-needs-struggle-with/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0d5a659006bb