Siblings Have Feelings Too Continues


I am Mature  (My parents trust me to help)

I am Independent  (I can learn to problem solve)

I am Patient (People learn at different rates)

I am Understanding  (My brother/sister is still a person with feeli

I am Caring (I will find ways to help others in the world)

Some siblings learn to take time for little things in their lives and when faced with challenges know they can deal with them

Sibs often learn to Never Give UP

To take time for themselves

To be Kind and Encouraging

To laugh more


Parents need to reach out for help from professionals (teachers, medical, therapeutic community, family, friends)

Siblings need to understand the challenges of their brother or sister. What is Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Autism, Intellectual Disability, blindness, Deafness, Attention Deficit Disorder? Do this early, do it often and do it in age appropriate language (simple at first to more details later)

Siblings need to be assured that the challenges are NOT contagious like a cold or flu

They need to know that there are many, many children born with challenges in their communities and in the world

They need to know that their brother or sister will also have some abilities and must be encouraged in these areas

Parents need to be careful not to treat brothers and sisters as caretakers, but as children

Do not give them responsibilities beyond their maturity!

Encourage children to ask questions and involve them in discussions. Value their feelings and opinions

Siblings will need to know how to play with their brother/sister. Some children with challenges may not show an interest in playing. This is hard on the sibling. Help them learn to play with their sibling.

They are not going to go through the normal sibling developmental milestones. Through their interactions sibs learn about developing relationships. So if they can’t with their sib, there can be challenges. But if they learn to play with others this will help.

Adult Siblings will benefit from seeing a plan made by the parents about the future of their sibling. This could be written out and updated periodically with the following:

Who are my brother/sister’s friends, family members and neighbors that can help?

Who are the doctors and educators who can help me?

Who are the doctors and educators who can help me?

What are the interests of my brother or sister with a disability?

What financial planning has been done (How will I take care of my sister/brother)?

What are the laws around taking care of my sibling in my own community?

What is the medical history (medications, treatments) I need to know?

When a plan is put in place the sibling can then experience less stress.












Karen Kaplan