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Angelyn

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Joined: 2015-04-27 Posts: 28
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If you are the parent of a child with special needs with siblings, did you have a specific talk about the disability of your special needs child?  If so, at what age?

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Angelyn

30 September 2016 03:35 AM # 1

Healing Heart

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Joined: 2014-10-10 Posts: 697
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I don’t know that I’ve had a specific talk - but I’d say we talk about it more and more now that he’s five - it’s really that he didn’t understand the difference until he realized he shared a peer group that was able-bodied and his brother did not.  I still don’t know if he fully understands the gravity of what this means - but he certainly recognizes they are different.  He calls himself “regular” and says his brother is “special.”  So there is some recognition that something we are saying must be registering with him.

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Everyday Holds the Possibility of a Miracle

13 October 2016 06:47 PM # 2

Sylvia

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Joined: 2014-10-29 Posts: 21
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We didn’t wait for a specific age, but we explained our special needs daughter’s disabilities and capabilities as certain issues involving them came up, such as being embarrassed at her public meltdowns or why she couldn’t learn to do certain activities that they wanted to include her in. I’ll never forget the day that Bethany’s younger brother by almost 4 years told me that even though Bethany was technically older than him she was really younger than him!

16 October 2016 11:49 PM # 3

Healing Heart

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Sylvia - 13 October 2016 06:47 PM

We didn’t wait for a specific age, but we explained our special needs daughter’s disabilities and capabilities as certain issues involving them came up, such as being embarrassed at her public meltdowns or why she couldn’t learn to do certain activities that they wanted to include her in. I’ll never forget the day that Bethany’s younger brother by almost 4 years told me that even though Bethany was technically older than him she was really younger than him!

My typical child has done that too - insisting he is older because he has more physical abilities…

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Everyday Holds the Possibility of a Miracle

25 January 2017 12:41 AM # 4

Motherofvegemiteandwonder

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Joined: 2014-11-01 Posts: 12
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For us, I think it has been a gradual conversation rather than a “big talk” - mainly because she gets bored if I try to explain too much medical stuff to her! When she was young (3 or 4), we mostly talked about her sister’s special needs in terms of epilepsy, which she could understand because she would see her sister have seizures, and since most people have a general knowledge of epilepsy, when she told someone her sister had epilepsy, they’d understand what she meant. As she has become older, I’ve given her more information and explained things in slightly more complicated terms. So, for example, she understands that her sister is tube fed because she can’t swallow food or drink properly and that she has difficulty moving because her brain is slow to send signals to other parts of her body.

She is 8 1/2 now and I mostly just encourage her to ask questions and try to answer them honestly and in a way that she will understand. Probably the hardest question was when a kid at school asked her if her sister was going to die, and she came home and asked me. We had a chat about how no one knew what the future held, but that her sister had a lot of medical issues and that often children like her didn’t live as long.

I also try to encourage her friends to ask questions. I’m always surprised at how curious they are about my younger daughter’s condition, and how once they understand, they’re much more relaxed around and inclusive of her!

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