Another fascinating thing we did this weekend was attend our Ds association monthly meeting. The topic was “Ask the Sibling”, where there was a panel of children (all with siblings with Ds) including my very own Gabby.
By far… hands down, one of the most inspiring meetings I have ever attended. I know sometimes we are overtaken by fear about our other children (non Ds), how do they feel about it? Do they feel their sibling is a burden to them? Did they wish their sibling was typical? All these thoughts and concerns we all have were answered, by the siblings themselves.
The youngest child was 7 (who is a twin) to the oldest being around my age.
And here is the run-down (some questions didn’t apply to all children because of the age difference):
-Except for the times when their sibling is acting up or waking them up super early in the morning, nobody really wished their sibling was typical. In fact one child wished he didn’t have any typical siblings! Ha!
- They all have been embarrassed at some point, and some of the things are things that even typical siblings deal with. The whole little sister/brother following the big sister/brother type of thing. Stay out of my room (when friends are over)… to more extreme situations, throwing fits at restaurants or at school.
- Most of them expressed that they are bothered by the “R-word” and they do tell their friends to stop and why it is hurtful. (How cool are these kids!)
- The older siblings stated that their dating life is somehow affected because of their sibling. But not in a negative way and they don’t feel they are missing out on anything if the possible candidate doesn’t accept their sibling.
-(older siblings) do feel their school choices were affected , and feel they would have gone further away to college. They are also closer to their family and probably wouldn’t see their parents often if it wasn’t for their sibling. Some have also decided to take legal guardianship of their sibling. Their decision and they wouldn’t have it any other way
-One of the older siblings is an Occupational Therapist. Some of the younger ones expressed being something in the field in regards to helping others with Ds.
-Having a sibling with Ds has added ADVENTURE to their life!
-No one feels like their sibling is a burden. They admit that not everything is perfect and there are difficult times, but they do not feel burdened.
I was extremely proud of my Gabby and the rest of the participants. It was reassuring to hear these things straight from the siblings mouths. I’ve always known that all THREE kids of mine will be just fine, but this added an extra security and comfort.
Question: Has your character been enhanced since your sibling with Ds? What good has come out of this?
Gabby’s Answer: Ethan has brought our family closer together and it has expanded my knowledge and it has expanded my family.
I love her.
Yeah, Gabby’s and Drea’s road may be a little rocky… but they live for adventure! And just like this has grown to be our norm, it has grown to be their norm as well.