Siblings of disabled children often help care for and support their brothers and sisters, in a wide range of ways from helping them take part in playground activities to undertaking the type of care tasks that we normally expect of adults e.g., looking after their brother or sister during a seizure. Most siblings are very protective towards their disabled brothers and sisters, protecting them from bullying and public prejudice or checking that they are not in pain or discomfort.
But siblings also have needs of their own which may not be met. Siblings of disabled children often have to take a back seat in their families whilst their parents work hard to manage family life and provide the level of care needed for the disabled child. This means they often get less attention from parents, miss out on typical family activities, and they may get less support with their own health and educational needs.
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Rebecca is an independent publisher working to help siblings of children with emotional challenges.