Why Special Needs Siblings?

I have been asked what prompted me to begin Special Needs Siblings right now. Honestly, my response is my children. I truly wish I had begun it earlier, but better late than never! I am the mother of five amazing children, the eldest who has autism and epilepsy. The roller coaster ride I am on is one thing…but being the mother and witnessing the journey of these five is priceless.

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Jada (8), Rose (1), Caleb (9), Raymond (1), Christian (11) – [left to right]

When Christian was 2 he was diagnosed with epilepsy and autism. He has had multiple seizures on a daily basis since then. He is on a variety of medication, sees numerous doctors, and several therapist. He has been progressing in the way of communicating, but we still have a ways to go. Now, when it comes to my other children I always feel spread thin because of all that goes into Christian. This is not the life you see on television or read about in a magazine. As the mother, I am responsible for the wellbeing of my clan, but indirectly all the other children are affected. I can recall when Caleb was 6 he laid his weeping head on my lap shared how he wished he was sick. He went on to explain that he wanted to be checked out of school, he wanted to go to appointments, he wanted to not have homework… his requests continued. My heart sunk. I went from being appalled he would want to be sick, take daily medication, have difficulty using facilities or being able to communicate. Yet, on the other side of my seesaw I felt a heart pounding ache. I had no idea he felt so left out when it came to his brother. I tried to keep him involved at school, in extracurricular activities, visiting for lunches, but still he could sense the separation. At the age of 6, he could sense the differences evolving. One thing I never wanted was them to feel at odds with each other.

Now, I was already involved in my local community groups for Christian: Autism, Epilepsy, Special Needs, but nothing was catered specifically for the siblings. There was no assistance for the special siblings who accompany their differently-abled sibling throughout life. These are my reasons why. They are my late night researching; they are my early morning phone calls, my hundred emails… Special Needs Siblings are so vital to a healthy family. Sibling rivalry is common. Sibling discord happens. In families with special needs it can be easy to not see the unhappiness, the frustration, the anxiety our special siblings feel towards their life or their sibling. Communication is everything and being able to express their feelings without judgement. Feelings are never wrong. Actions can be wrong. I wanted to make an atmosphere full of acceptance, understanding, and pride. This is a place our parents can show off their special siblings in a positive light. This is a place siblings can talk to other siblings about their personal highs and lows. I have had the pleasure of meeting adult siblings and they are filled with the most patience, passion and love. I personally like to think that is in direct correlation with being a Special Needs Sibling.

Special Needs Siblings are proud of their siblings. They are proud of themselves, their families, and to share their hearts.

How do you feel being apart of a special needs family? ups or downs?

xoxo ~

SNS

18 Comments

  1. princessarchitect
    Permalink

    I’m working on a design for a special needs school, which focuses on autism, so great to hear a parent’s (rather than teacher’s) view. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    • Navigating Life
      Permalink

      Wow! That’s amazing. I’ve had plenty of experience teaching kids with special needs AND have a child with Autism, ADHD and SPD. Let me know if you need anything. The coolest thing I saw in a school recently was a sensory room with a one way viewing window. If kids weren’t coping in class they could retreat there. It was awesome! Good luck

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • princessarchitect
        Permalink

        I will ask! The school have asked for viewing windows in a couple of the sensory/ therapy rooms 🙂

        Like

  2. somewhereoverthespectrumsite
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    Thank you SNS for dedicating your blog to this very important aspect of having a kid with a disability. I carry guilt all the time about not being able to give as much to my younger child because my older child with special needs demands so much. Your children are beautiful . Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • snsiblings
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      No, thank you for sharing with me! Its so refreshing to know I am not alone, and neither are you! We are raising some amazing human beings! xoxo

      Like

      Reply
  3. Wayne Costen
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    I’m so proud of you!! I really belive that amongst many other passions I’m sure that you have, this may be your purpose in life, you do a great job with all the kids, balance it all out and still remain positive and motivational to others!! I pray that God continue to bless you and your family and I look forward to seeing how God shapes your destiny for this cause!! I will always be a supporter!! -Wayne

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • snsiblings
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      thank you so much!! Means a lot and God willing I’ll continue sharing my heart for as long as I can!

      Like

      Reply
  4. cielotech
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    Great web site. I have a special place in my heart for special needs children. My wife and I have three sons and five grandchildren with one on the way. I think it’s very alarming the increased incidence of autism in our country and around the world. I feel much more needs to be accomplished in the medical field to discover the reason(s). Keep writing. Great service you provide. Take care.

    Like

    Reply
  5. Navigating Life
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    I’m looking forward to reading through your posts. I once read somewhere that siblings who have sibling with anger and aggression issues, experience PTSD often. This breaks my heart. I plan on writing a post about this soon. If ok, I’ll link your blog in for follow up support for readers. Thanks for a great and extremely important page!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Blogger Loves The King
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    Your life is busy I know. I work with special needs children as a substitute teacher. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. summerjanacek
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    As a sibling of a sister with special needs it’s relieving to hear a parent recognize all their children as independent people, with wants and needs. Siblings aren’t recognized nearly enough. I just posted about my own sibling experience. I am 22 and my sister with Autism and Intellectual Disability is 21. You’re a good parent!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • snsiblings
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      that brought tears to my eyes! thank you so much for sharing with me. I’m simply trying to be the best I can be. You, siblings, have play such a big role and I hope you know just how much you’re loved and appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • summerjanacek
        Permalink

        Thank you! 🙂 much love to you and your family! ❤

        Like

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