A Sibling’s Perspective.
The Holidays always mean family visits, and with that in mind, we thought our episode on a sibling’s perspective would be a good one to repost. This episode is from October of 2015, when we interviewed Aubrey Boerma, who grew up with an older brother who has Autism.
What’s it like growing up with a special needs sibling? Do you have feelings of being ignored by your parents? Do you worry about how your special needs sibling will be treated by society or your friends in particular? Are you frustrated over how often you have to explain why your special needs sibling “acts like that”?
As hard as it is to be a parent of a special needs child, it can also be just as hard to be a sibling of one. From having to attend numerous medical or therapy appointments, to missing out on school events or social events, many siblings feel like their lives have to take second place to the lives of the special needs child. Even into adulthood, some people carry resentments and anger over their relationships with their special needs siblings.
There Are Answers.
In this episode of Special Parents Confidential, we talk to Aubrey Boerma, who has a brother with special needs. She also works with sibling youth support groups, helping child siblings learn to cope with their special needs brothers or sisters. Aubrey talks about how not all sibling relationships have to be difficult. For many people, having a sibling with special needs can be an incredible experience. You learn to be a much more patient and tolerant person with great empathy for all kinds of situations. Many siblings of special needs children, including Aubrey, say that their brother or sister are the best thing that happened to them. She also has suggestions for parents on how to help siblings talk about their relationships and their feelings toward their special needs brother or sister.
Links To Websites Mentioned In This Podcast:
The Sibling Support Project – Founded in 1990, the Sibling Support Project is the first national program dedicated to the life-long and ever-changing concerns of millions of brothers and sisters of people with special health, developmental, and mental health concerns.
Sibling Leadership Network – Providing siblings of individuals with disabilities the information, support, and tools to advocate with their brothers and sisters and to promote the issues important to them and their entire families.
The Sibling Survival Guide – A “How To” guide to being an adult sibling of a special needs person.
Growing Up With Ben – The Blog Post that Aubrey wrote about her life and relationship with her special needs brother.