What We Wished You Knew About Our Sibs with Special Needs

posted May 26, 2013, 12:03 PM by Elizabeth Batson
This entry comes from a conversation with the kids from the Parent Helping Parents March 2013 Sibshop. 

We all have brothers or sisters with special needs. As a group, we made this list of things that we wished people knew about our situation.
1.     Don’t judge, try to understand 
  •  A person can look normal and still have special needs. 
  •  My sib isn’t causing problems or acting weird on purpose. There are reasons for the way they are acting 
          -       He can’t control his behavior
          -       Sometimes things are just too much and then he melts down 
          -       She wants to be friends but others can’t always tell 
          -       Sometimes they just don’t understand
          -       She is doing the best she can even if it doesn’t look like it 
          -       He is not trying to be mean, he really is nice instead 
  • Don’t judge me based on my sib’s behavior. I’m not the same just because I’m related 

 2.     Show good manners – sometimes people act mean 
  •  Don’t stare - it’s not polite
  •  Don’t call names 
  • Don’t gossip 

 3.     We get tired of people asking the same questions.
  • Watch what you say. Don’t ask obvious questions. Even when people are trying to be nice, we get tired of them. 
  • I like to act as if my family is normal. Asking questions just reminds me that we aren’t 
 4.     We wish people could be warned about what to expect (without us having to tell them). 
  • Sometimes sibs really want certain things. It may seem odd but we do it her way to keep the peace. 
  • Many of us have sibs who don’t handle frustration well. It is often easier to just give him what he wants, even if it isn’t fair.Some of us have sibs that can be dangerous – yelling or kicking. 

 5.     The most important thing for people to know: Disabilities, syndromes, and odd behavior are not bad, just different. Having differences is good. We wish we could tell the world, “You don’t get it – different is OK!”