Brothers and Sisters of Children with Disabilities

Brothers and Sisters of Children with Disabilities

Brothers and Sisters of Children with Disabilities

Brothers and Sisters of Children with Disabilities

Synopsis

"Examining the overlooked subject of non-disabled siblings in families where there is a disabled child. Brothers and Sisters of Disabled Children details the experiences of these children and explores what it means to them to have a disabled brother or sister. Through family interviews and one-to-one meetings, Peter Burke records siblings' views on issues ranging from the everyday social restrictions on their lives, the discrimination they face at school, through to their concerns about the future. He also considers the difficulties for siblings of finding their own identity in 'disabled' families, competition for parental attention and the phenomenon of 'disability by association' - the tendency for siblings to emulate a disabled brother's or sister's behaviour in an attempt to gain recognition for themselves at home, school and socially. Putting this within the context of the existing framework of professional practice for sibling and family support services, the author stresses the importance and proven success of sibling support groups as models of empowerment and inclusion, and makes clear recommendations for future practice." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

The inspiration for the research on which this book is based resulted from a conversation with my daughter. in a discussion about nothing in particular, one comment hit me with its crystal certainty. At the age of 10 my daughter reassured me about my disabled son’s future in this way. She said: ‘Don’t worry daddy, when you are too old I will look after Marc.’ Marc is her brother. He has a condition referred to as spastic quadriplegia, and severe learning disabilities. These labels do not really represent Marc as we know him, but it helps with the image of his dependency and the reason why his sister understood that his care needs were in many ways different from her own. My daughter’s comment made me realise that it was not only I who was aware of my son’s disabilities, but my daughter also, and she was thinking of his future at a time when my partner and I were ‘taking a day at a time’. the inspiration drawn from that comment helped formulate a plan of research into the needs of siblings, and subsequently this book.

The book is structured to inform the practitioners (whether they are from the health, welfare or educational sectors), of the needs of siblings. I trust too, that the views expressed, based as they are on the experience of others and with some insights drawn from personal experience, will resonate with families in situations similar to my own.

Outline of chapters

Throughout the text quotations from families will be used to clarify points and issues raised, and detailed case examples will show how siblings react . . .

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