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Old 11-30-2012, 09:31 PM   #1
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Dealing with a special needs child as a sibling

How do your other children deal with having a sibling with disabilities? My 6yr old is starting to ask more questions about his big brother's health issues and he's also starting to pretend to be hurt at times. We try to answer his questions as simply but as honestly as we can but not sure what to do about the pretending. I'm certain it's for the attention, my oldest was in the ER a couple of weeks ago and on crutches up till Monday and received a lot of attention at school because of it. My 6yr old today was telling me about how his leg was hurting him in the exact same spot and how he needed to go to the ER and get crutches. I managed to distract him with something else and he stopped the pretending but he's done it before and I'm sure will do it again. I'm really not sure how to handle it.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:19 AM   #2
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Re: Dealing with a special needs child as a sibling

My DSD is just 3 months older then DS, but very much more mature. We try to be as honest with her about everything as possible, in an age appropriate way. We also make sure she can help a lot, that makes her feel like she's part of it, and make sure to give her extra attention and praise.
Denise, building a life with B my farmer, Mom to L 09.2006, W 12.2006, A 04.2013, and B 09.2014 and one angel 10.24.2013
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:37 PM   #3
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Re: Dealing with a special needs child as a sibling

My yds is autistic. I think it's a little easier when the kiddo with special needs is e younger sibling. We are open, he comes to lots of asd and special Olympics stuff. I've recently started having him work with his brother, I gave him some options of hat to do and said it had to be for 1 minute. He usually helps for five or so. That directed interaction seems to have really help increase his understanding. I make sure he gets lots of cuddles and attention. I think the fake injuries are to be expected. I wouldn't get mad about them but I wouldn't give him much attention over it either. He will figure it out
Suzi, working mama to my ODS(2004) , YDS(2006), DSD(2004) and married to the love of my life
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:39 PM   #4
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Re: Dealing with a special needs child as a sibling

We talk with DD about how DS is special, and that sometimes kids do things differently, and it is ok. When he is in the hospital, she gets worried that he might die, and we reassure her that while he is sick, he will come home soon. What is harder to explain to her is that he is so aggressive and hurts her. He has ODD and is on watch for RAD. This is not really something a 5 year old can understand.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:16 AM   #5
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Re: Dealing with a special needs child as a sibling

It's tough. My oldest (turning 11 this week) has aspergers, ADHD, anxiety. My other kids are 9 and 6. Add to it, my oldest knows he's different, knows about the asperger, etc., and doesn't want anyone talking about it. Is tough. I just talk about how everyone is different, and we all have things we are good at, and things that are harder for us. It is only very recently that my oldest will tell anyone he has aspergers (and that, really is thanks to him meeting and getting a book signed a few weeks ago by Temple Grandin. It made a HUGE impression on him). It's just hard to have that conversation when he knows, and isn't comfortable with it.
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