Welcome to Special Needs Siblings! My name is Jeniece LaGloria. I am the mother of five fabulous children all of whom rock my world and shake up my soul! I am the founder of Special Needs Siblings, Inc. I am a writer, a speaker, and an advocate for autism, epilepsy, and special needs siblings. I am here bold, faulty, and free. Why the motivation for this movement?
I began Special Needs Siblings in May 2016 with the desire to bring awareness and support to our special needs community. I had no idea it would become such a beautiful movement of love and support. I was a mother who was struggling with balance and imperfections. I knew something was missing but I did not know what. Things kept happening in our family where I was missing the mom mark. Now, this was not intentional, but it still had a huge impact on the children.
One day at Caleb’s basketball game I missed a BIG shot he made because Christian (brother with autism and epilepsy) had an episode and I needed calm him. Another time I was supposed to attend a field trip for Jada’s class, but I had to withdraw because Christian had began seizing and I needed to stay with him. Honestly, I could always find assistance regarding my son’s disability, but information pertaining to his siblings was scarce. I was hurting, confused, and torn. I wanted to be the best mother to them all, but I did not know how! I decided I wanted to find others like myself. I made a choice to create an Instagram account and begin sharing stories of myself and my children with hopes others would want to speak their truths as well. Today, we have a growing network of 20,000 people who recognize and share the same desire to bring awareness to the siblings within our families.
I have found in speaking with parents and siblings over the last few years that there is a great need to support the siblings within the special needs families. The parents are often strained emotionally, financially, and physically when dealing with their disabled child that sometimes the typical child does not receive the same needed attention. This has been known to cause different problems, ex. resentment, anger, jealousy. There were also greater possibilities of behavior issues with the siblings of special needs children. We additionally noticed that the siblings are often full of compassion and empathy for others in greater capacities than their peers. They are some of the kindest individuals you will ever come across. Their hearts are full and their feelings matter.
Special Needs Siblings, Inc.’s mission is to empower and embrace the parents and siblings within the special needs families by providing education, resources and support programs. Donations made to Special Needs Siblings, Inc. will be used to build programs, secure resources, and provide assistance to special needs siblings in the community. We will offer a place of community by bringing awareness to the families by focusing on bridging the gap between the siblings. Our goal is to be able to strengthen the family and sibling bond. We are proud to say we are officially tax exempt and looking forward to the GREAT things we can do !!