ERIC Number: ED404813
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Jul
The Sibling: A Lifelong Journey of Care.
Liska, Victoria D.
This paper describes the feelings and needs of children who have siblings with disabilities from the point of view of a woman who has a brother with an intellectual disability. Eight lessons that adult siblings can teach professionals about the significant, often forgotten, family role they play are outlined, supported by descriptive quotations from people in similar situations. The lessons include: (1) having a brother or sister with special needs can stretch the sibling bond in unnatural, and troublesome ways; (2) the role of an adult sibling of a person with special needs has no clear definition; (3) communication with parents about matters related to the future for a child with special needs is often emotionally charged, if it occurs at all; (4) family caregivers face competing, often conflicting, obligations to the people and work responsibilities in their lives; (5) individuals involved in long-term family caregiving need to be able to depend on the reliability of the other support services their relative receives; (6) advocates and self-advocates require access to information that is current, comprehensive, and user-friendly; (7) siblings typically share a strong drive to maintain life-long connection with each other; and (8) siblings of persons with developmental disabilities express frustration at the lack of opportunities and accommodation society offers to their disabled brothers and sisters. (Contains 18 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual World Congress of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities (10th, Helsinki, Finland, July 8-13, 1996). Based upon an article by Anne C. Guthrie, "Lessons of Love: Listening to the 'Other Children.'"