It Isn't Fair! Siblings of Children with Disabilities

By Stanley D. Klein; Maxwell J. Schleifer | Go to book overview

PART III
Siblings

In the following articles, seven young men and women describe their relationships with sisters or brothers who are disabled. The issues they detail are similar to those discussed by the authors in Part II. Again, the issues raised are familiar to all sibling relationships, but are often particularly poignant in relation to the impact of the sister or brother with a disability.

In the first paragraph of "The Other Children," Victoria Hayden writes, "With love for my parents and for my deaf sister, I would like to speak for 'the other children' of exceptional parents." With empathy and sensitivity, Flayden praises and criticizes her "understanding parents" and, most of all, takes us inside herself as she grew up with her sister, Mindy, who is one year younger and deaf. With many vivid examples, she documents the positive and negative impact of growing up with Mindy.

Reminded to be nice to her sister, Hayden was angry and resented the different expectations and rewards she confronted and the extra help and attention her sister received. While Mindy's misbehavior was often accepted because she "could not help it," Hayden herself was chastised for such behavior. At the same time, while she felt she was expected to be an "exceptionally good little girl," no matter how good she was, her sister got more attention. Thus, she felt more was expected, less was given. Similarly, her sister's accomplishments were highly praised; hers were expected.

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It Isn't Fair! Siblings of Children with Disabilities
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • PART I Siblings Begin to Talk Together 1
  • Brother to Sister, Sister to Brother 3
  • Forgotten Children 33
  • PART II Parents and Professionals 41
  • For the Love of Wess 45
  • A Sibling Born Without Disabilities: A Special Kind of Challenge 51
  • When the Youngest Becomes the Oldest 55
  • Brothers With a Difference 61
  • Darwin and Caleb 65
  • Christina Loves Katherine 71
  • Is That Your Brother? Our Family's Response 75
  • The Sibling Situation 79
  • But Not Enough to Tell the Truth: Developmental Needs of Siblings 83
  • PART III Siblings 87
  • The Other Children 91
  • Life With My Sister: Guilty No More 97
  • My Brother Warren 103
  • My Special Brother 107
  • Reflections of a College Freshman: Away from Home for the First Time 109
  • Courage in Adversity: My Brother Dick 111
  • Dear Mom 115
  • PART IV Case Studies 121
  • When I Grow Up, I'm Never Coming Back! 133
  • Jerry Got Lost in the Shuffle 139
  • We Go Our Separate Way, Together but Alone 147
  • I'm Not Going to Be John's Baby Sitter Forever 155
  • PART V Young Siblings 163
  • Conclusion 171
  • Resources 173
  • Index 175
  • About the Editors 177
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