Written by Rizwana Eathally-Jmari, in 2021, this is an article that digs deep into the psychological interactions between family units that contain one or more special needs children. From the innate urge to be a sibling’s caretaker to the denial and guilt that can come from refusing to help care for a special needs sibling, the toll that this role takes is very real.
In this research review, multiple well-renown sources are used to develop and describe a plan of action in families with special needs kids: create and maintain open lines of communication not only with the siblings of the special needs child but also with the special needs child as well. Lack of communication and information tends to lead to feelings of insecurity and helplessness within the family unit.
Furthermore, it is suggested that proper expectations are set within the family unit; there is no reason for young siblings to assume the role of caretaker for the special needs child when neurotypical adults or parents are present to assume this role. Maintaining open lines of communication with siblings around this topic are important to the siblings’ normal childhood development.
For further information and guidance on this topic, please feel free to download the article by Rizwana Eathally-Jmari below.