Tag - siblings of kids with special needs

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When People Stare At My Child Who Has Special Needs
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Separated Siblings: She Waves Goodbye As He Leaves For High School
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A Brother Shows His True Colours For His Special Sister
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Brothers and Sisters—special needs
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There’s Something Different & He Just Put His Finger On It….

When People Stare At My Child Who Has Special Needs

  When strangers stare at my daughter I feel embarrassed, angry, defensive, indignant. I feel all the feelings in no particular order.  Sometimes I make direct eye contact with the starer. Sometimes I call them on it. Sometimes I don’t.  It’s emotional for us when people turn to look at our kids. And when their stares linger, it’s hard to handle.    But I try to remind myself that different draws attention. It’s human nature to be curious. People aren’t generally cruel. They’re just trying to figure it out.  So last week when my son’s gaze fell upon a girl with Down Syndrome and his glance lasted a few seconds too long, and was perceived as a stare, I understand why her mother glared at him.  He looked upset after swim practice. Not only were his eyes stinging from the chlorine, he was feeling the sting of guilt because he’d upset the mother of a girl in his class.  He explained that when he got out of the pool he noticed a girl about Avery’s age standing on the pool deck waiting for her sister. He spotted a school crest on her shirt and he was trying to get a better[…]

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Separated Siblings: She Waves Goodbye As He Leaves For High School

My daughter packed her backpack weeks ago in giddy anticipation of returning to school. She asked me to paint her nails and “do her hair pretty.” She couldn’t be more excited to start grade six.  My son was in denial that summer was ending right up until the end. He gave little thought to his first day of high school outfit. He wasn’t even planning on brushing his hair until I “suggested” it. I pleaded with him to let me take him shopping, but he refused. “Mum, I’ve got enough clothes. I’m fine.” Kind of hard to take him seriously when he’s arguing his point in mismatched socks and pants that are miles too short.  But he’s in high school now. He’s a big boy. In short pants. His pants, his choice I guess. (Mind you, I went to the mall today and bought him a few new things against his will. I can’t have the kid looking like he’s been stuffed into shrunken kahkis all year.) High school… no longer at our local elementary. He’s moved on and this is the first time his little sister will be at school without him.  At first she didn’t make the connection. “What?[…]

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A Brother Shows His True Colours For His Special Sister

You know when people comment on a video or a blog post saying, “This brought me to tears” or “This made me bawl”? Sometimes it’s true. But more often it’s merely a sentimental response to an emotional topic. When I watched this video however, I literally sobbed. I cried out loud, which I have to say is both cleansing and bloody exhausting. And now through red swollen eyes I’m attempting to share this amazing tribute by a brother to his sister. This sweet and crazy talented young boy of eleven, the same age as my son, wrote and performed this song (a cover of True Colours by Cindy Lauper) about his sister, eight years old, the same age as my special little girl. Sarah was born with Down Syndrome, but her big brother Matt doesn’t see her as different—he sees her as special in all the best ways. My son loves his sister more than anything. He made a video about her to help explain her differences to his peers at school. I guess this one of the reasons why this story touches me so deeply.  If you watch anything online today, you must watch this video below. It’s simply[…]

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Brothers and Sisters—special needs

  I fell head over heels for each of my children immediately. When my son met his baby sister for the first time, he was hesitant, but only for a minute. While he stroked her downy soft hair, he vowed to always take care of her. Sure, they may tease and squabble and possibly bite leaving behind little teeth marks, but mostly they are faithful friends. I thought I couldn’t possibly love them more until the day when the ambulance came. My youngest needed help and my oldest child, blurred out of sight, was brought back into focus with the words, “Mummy, don’t worry about me. I’m fine. Just please, please let her be okay.” Standing with his back pressed firmly against the wall out of the way of the paramedics, I remember warning him about the mad rush of people who would be coming any minute, and to stay out of their way. He was holding his sister’s pink bear, which he later handed to me to bring along to the hospital. I realized, in that moment, that he loves his sister as much as I love them both and my heart ached under the weight of that realization.[…]

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There’s Something Different & He Just Put His Finger On It….

Our ten year old son is fully aware that his little sister is different. He knows about her chromosomal disorder and about her “special needs.” He understands the implications of the R-Word and he’s aware of the range of physical disabilities that exist for so many people. He has been aptly schooled. Of course, he’s learned about Avery’s diagnosis and prognosis little by little. It’s like sex education that way — you want to provide enough information to prepare your child for what lies ahead, but you don’t want to bombard them with too much, too soon and freak them the heck out. He is basically up to speed when it comes to his sibling’s cognitive and physical challenges, or so we thought. I honestly assumed he already knew about her pinky fingers… Avery has a condition called Clinodactyly which is “the sideways bending of a finger joint. It is often caused by an abnormally shaped bone within the finger. Clinodactyly of the small finger is the most common.” source   This condition is usually heredity, but in our daughter’s case it’s a result of her genetic abnormality. My best friend actually noticed Avery’s “shorter than average” pinky fingers before I did.[…]

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