Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

"Well, When Is Someday?"

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

"Well, When Is Someday?"

Article excerpt

My Holly; A Story of A Brother's Understanding and Acceptance

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Written & Illustrated by Julie Leavitt Wolfe

Published by Friesen Press, 2011; www.friesenpress.com (paperback and eBook)

One thing is certain but certainly under appreciated: there are more brothers and sisters who have brothers and sisters with special needs than there are kids with special needs.

Growing up as a sibling with a sibling with special needs creates a parallel universe of their own special needs. Jealousy, resentment, protectionism, overcompensation, remorse, self esteem issues, increased or decreased spirituality, isolation, depression, maladaptive behaviors are just some of the manifestations that siblings exhibit. It was the recognition of the special needs of "sibs" that lead to the creation of "sibshops" and other programs to support the growing numbers of "sibs of special needs sibs."

Physicians engaged in teaching medical students, residents and nurses about the special needs population employ one technique--the use of the "pathography." While a biography is the story of a person through the eyes of another person, a "pathography" is the capturing of an illness, disease or disability through the eyes of another person. This is a formidable technique that allows the student to begin to appreciate the burden, experience, outlook and resilience of their patients challenged by a multitude of life altering disorders.

My Holly: A Story Of A Brother's Understanding and Acceptance serves as the definitive "pathography." While I can appreciate that its author Julie Leavitt Wolfe didn't start out with the goal of creating a model pathography, that is what has been delivered and the "sibs" world is better for it.

My Holly is the story of Holly (a story based on Julie's real children Ryan and Sydney), a three-year-old survivor of a stroke, and her brother Jack. …

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