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Siblings of Special Needs Children


By Melissa Hinson

As a sibling of a special needs daughter, I know how easy it is to feel unnoticed when there is so much emphasis on the child with special needs.  My family and I are very dedicated to my sister in matters of getting her the correct medication, taking her to therapy classes, finding the right behaviorist and support coordinator, etc.  But even though we all love one another, there have been times when I have felt invisible or taken for granted. 

One of the ways to ensure a healthy connection with your child is to give them your undivided attention.  I think it is very important to have quality time with your children on an individual basis.  During this time, make sure that your conversation is about the child at hand.  Your child needs to be affirmed and recognized as an individual and needs to know that they are seen and heard.

Talk with your child and discuss how they feel, and how they are coping with having a sibling with special needs.  If they express stress or negative feelings; confront it through healthy communication so that it can be resolved.  I hope these tips can help you to connect with your child so that they feel affirmed and recognized for who they are and so that they know they are valuable part of the family. 

 

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