Saturday, February 20, 2010

What Do Siblings Owe their Siblings with Special Needs? - Part 1

This is one of those "elephant in the closet" topics - I truly hope I don't offend anyone who knows me, because some parents of children with autism have been of very great help to me during our journey of discovery and learning with bil.


It is my observation that there is a big divide between siblings and parents, and not just in the autism area, perhaps for all "special needs".  But I can only speak to our own personal situation, which has to do with autism.

To set the stage:  my husband is the oldest of 4.  His first brother (typical) is 17 months younger.  His brother, the one with autism, is 6 years younger.  There is also a sister.

I am not the parent of a child (growing or adult) with autism, nor am I a sib.  But I am a parent, and also the wife of a sib.  We've been married a long time.  And bil has been in my life, one way or another, for almost 40 years. So perhaps I have a unique view of the whole situation. 

Anyway, what set this off was a random comment by my mother in law when we brought my brother in law back home.

I can't quote her exactly now, but she made a comment to the affect that my husband had not spent a whole lot of time with his brother growing up so it was really nice that he spent a week with his brother now.

More in Part 2.

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