There is not much that can come between the bond of siblings. Many parents facing a life with a special needs child wonder how it will effect their other typical children. What will their life be like having to lend an extra hand, be extra patient, maybe not do as many things and go as many places as children whose families do not have a special needs child. Should they even have more children after their special needs child?
My children are very young, but I am holding closely to the idea that they will benefit greatly by having Dylan as their sister. The amazing things that special needs brings to our family will hopefully far outweigh anything that they can’t do, or can’t have. I hope that my children will be more accepting and more patient with people who are different from them and that they will be the first to reach out and offer to help. All because they got this example withn the home, from day one.
I cherish the examples that I see about how much love a child, especially an older child, has for their sibling. I have shared stories about it here before and I will continue to do so because it’s yet another thing that gives us hope. A friend recently shared a short essay her daughter Avrianna (Av) wrote and after several days I could not let it go. It was something I needed not only my friends to see but other special needs families who worry about the impact a special needs child will have on their other children.
Here is Av’s complete essay about her hero:
“Some heroes wear capes, mine has a trach. I admire this person because he has been through things that no one should go through in a lifetime. A hero is somebody who is selfless, who is generous in spirit, who tries to give back as much as possible and help people. A hero to me is someone who saves people and who really deeply cares.”
“My hero is my brother, Danny. He was born with brain damage which makes him “different”. I see him almost everyday and if I didn’t see him that much my life would be a disaster. I can go to him for anything, he will listen to me and I know that he cares. Even though he can’t tell me that he loves me or that he is there for me, I already know that. Nobody needs to tell me that because we have a secret connection that nobody can understand. Other people that have a special needs sibling know what we go through, and it’s not easy. We have to watch our heroes get rushed to the hospital time to time, not knowing what the outcome is going to be. But I can’t imagine how Danny feels.”
“When I go to a competition or to a practice for my sport, I try my best because I know it would make my brother proud. I know that no matter what I do, I will never disappoint my brother because he always believes in me. That’s one more reason why I would do anything for him, and that’s why I love him.”
“When I go to the store with my mom and Danny, everyone stares at him because in other people’s eyes he looks different than themselves. In my eyes he’s the normal one and everyone around us is “different”. When I look at my brother all I think of is how proud I am of him because of how he has overcome so many different things. Also, I am not afraid to share anything about him, I am not embarrassed to talk about him, I’m proud.”
“He has set an imagine in my head of the perfect person. That person is nice, kind, and an amazing friend. That image in my head is my brother because he is the perfect person. I have always had this scenario where a genie will pop out of a magic lamp and grant me three wishes. My first wish would [be] to give the gift of speech to Danny. He deserves it, he is always here for me and I want to be there for him. I wish he could tell me everything, so no matter what I could be there for him through thick and thin.”
“I look up to him, I don’t want to have anyone else as my brother. He is my inspiration, my everything, my hero. Not all heroes wear capes.
Love, Av Osero”
Av is a very energetic 12 year old with a busy life of her own. She is a fantastic diver (seriously… the girl is incredible) and Danny, her 11 year old brother is, I am sure, her number one cheerleader. Siblings of children who have special needs are often the unsung heroes and Av, you are no exception. As much you think Danny is a hero, we think you are too.
Keep up the good work and the kind heart Av, you give moms of many more hope than you can imagine.
Danny and Avrianna’s mom blogs on their family blog www.oserofamily.blogspot.com. Huge thanks to her for letting me share Av’s essay as well as the sweet pictures of their family.