Although there is no set rule of how siblings should be raised around a brother or sister with a disability, it is important parents encourage or insist, siblings play an integral role in the lives of their sibling with the disability.
The nature of a disability means there are several common issues faced by a child with a disability, but their siblings may emotionally struggle too. It is not uncommon for that child’s siblings to be at risk of developing stress and emotional issues, where they start to internalise issues that aren’t obvious or visible in an attempt to hide how they feel about their sibling.
Whilst the family focus must always be on the child with the disability that will take away from the attention needed by his or her siblings. Where parents are going back and forth with hospital or physiotherapy appointments that will also limit the amount of time they spend with their other children. In these cases it’s easy for siblings to feel and be neglected.
Siblings may start to attention-seek with their parents and with each other, as a result of them living with their sibling with the disability. All children must have emotional support because without it, it’s easy for siblings to experience jealousy, resentment and anger towards the sibling with the disability.
It is important that parents ensure their children are inclusive and together. Their non-disabled children must have a normal life as possible, so that they are able to engage in extracurricular activities and so they can be social with their peers.
Although a disability makes us different, it shouldn’t makes us less inclusive or less important, that our emotional needs with a disability didn’t matter. The nature of a disability does make us different, but it’s important we’re not made to feel different.
There should be no embarrassment for the normal siblings, as a result of the behaviour and appearance of a disabled sibling. Those siblings should be encouraged to bring their friends home.