Sibling Troubles? Helpful Tips From Parents!

Sibling Troubles? Helpful Tips From Parents!

We posted a couple weeks ago how you shouldn’t let having a chronically ill or child with special needs hold you back from having more children. Overwhelmingly people who have gone on to have more children are happy that they did and feel like it was the best decision for their family. But, it’s not easy. How do you go about making sure their siblings get as much attention as your more demanding child? It’s easy for mom and dad guilt to creep in, to think that you aren’t doing enough even though you might be. Here are some ideas from the experts, special needs parents. Take them on errands by themselves – Even short trips like the home improvement or grocery store, or even to the gas station, will provide them moments of one on one attention with a parent. It will make them feel special and listened to. Plan a date night (Or a date day!) – A few parents recommended this. Give each sibling a night a month, let them choose what to do, where to go, and have both parents go on the date. Getting away from the distraction of a high needs sibling is crucial to building a relationship – even if it’s only for a few hours a month. Late nights – Have a special night where the sibling gets to stay up a little later and spend time with mom and dad. Remember how cool it was staying up past your bedtime when you were younger? It’s great! And time spent snuggling with mom and dad make it even more special. Find them...
Just Because

Just Because

Sam has recently become obsessed with this book, Just Because by Rebecca Elliott. It’s about a little blonde hair blue eyed boy whose older sister is in a wheelchair. The little boy loves to lay by his sister, laugh with her, look at books with her, be outside with her, pretend with her, and dream with her. The boy doesn’t know why his sister is in a wheelchair and doesn’t talk and has curly hair….just because. Sam makes me read it to him at least 10 times a day. I recently found him sitting on the couch hugging it…..just because. Chloe also loves the book and gets excited when the brother and sister pretend the wheelchair is a rocket and go up into space! Rebecca Elliott has another book about the same siblings and hospital visits the sister has to make, Sometimes. It is also a very sweet book and both of my kids like it a lot. I think these books will become more and more important as Sam matures and understands the many things that make his sister different and can see pictures that look a lot like his life in a fun, happy book. I’m grateful he already understands it enough that reading the books is important and special to him. I can’t recommend these books...
Deciding to Have More Children After Your Special Needs Child

Deciding to Have More Children After Your Special Needs Child

Deciding to have more children is something that weighs very hard on the parents of children with special needs. Can you ever have enough time, will you be able to work with them, can they reach their full potential when you are spread thin? Is it fair to even consider it? Overwhelmingly the answer for people who have continued on to have more children was that they were glad that they had more children. For many reasons. Here are a few: No matter what life brings, your special needs child will never be alone. Not only are we reassured of this as parents but the child knows that everything they do, they will have a sibling beside them to help and encourage them. My children are still young, but I have seen so many examples of protective caring siblings that I can’t wait to see how their relationships will develop. Having a special needs sibling is good for typical children. Many families talk about how their other children are far more patient, quiet and caring for others because of their experience with their special needs sibling. They are often quicker at developing that ability to think outside of their own needs. The extra stimulation is good for children with special needs. Our house is crazy, it’s noisy, there are toys everywhere, kids everywhere. Dylan is always trying to ‘catch’ the other kids, she wants to be where they are and will try as hard as she can to get there. That is motivation that a therapist cannot provide on their own! Logistics work themselves out – One mother asked...
A Sibling’s Hero

A Sibling’s Hero

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...
Inclusion in Summer School

Inclusion in Summer School

Okay okay, it’s no secret I love my preschool, but since we have just met, let me give you a bit of background. Dylan and her twin started at our school district preschool right after her third birthday. We didn’t really have a choice on preschools because of her special needs, she transitioned in very easily from our Early Intervention program. I enrolled Duncan there as well, he needed the outlet and this was easy. Even without a choice, boy, did we luck out! We quickly became lifers and since then two additional children have been enrolled there. In the few years that we have been there I have had my preschoolers go into their summer program which is four weeks in the summer, three days a week. I was excited to put my new preschooler in with my second year preschooler to get him used to what going to school will be like. I noticed, as I was walking out the first day, that there was a mom unloading a child in a wheelchair and I remember thinking to myself how happy I was that my kids might have the opportunity to be in a classroom with a special needs child. Well, not my finest hour, because once the wheels got turning it dawned on me that they do the Extended School Year (ESY) program for the special needs kids during the summer. Dylan was in it. So… Of course there would be special need kids in their class! Well, hello… the summer program for typical children was likely a way for the preschool to supplement the ESY...