Saturday, 24 November 2012

An interview ...

My sister recently interviewed me for her blog on my experience living with a child with a disability.

A child with a disability - My sisters story

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Over the last couple of years I have been thinking about siblings of kids with disabilities. I have met many people over the years, through work as an OT and personally, who have talked of the effects of growing up with a sibling with a disability. I have also recently read the book 'Siblings' by Kate Strohm. 

The impact appears vary case to case. Many people report to have issues with feeling left out, forgotten, not as important. Some report that it strengthened their character, and they feel they are more tolerant, understanding people as a result. In Kate Strohm's book she says siblings are 'often overlooked in families struggling to cope'. She gives some practical strategies to help give siblings the attention, care and time they need.

A friend of mine once told me that as a child, her main memory of her sister's disability was that her mum would leave her so often. When she would travel away for medical appointments she felt she was always the one left behind. This is something I am very conscious of with Samuel. I am often away with Evelyne in Sydney, and now Samuel is at school, he stays at home with Jon. Jon's parents often come to stay to help with school drop off and pick up which has been wonderful! However I feel it's important to make sure Sam and I get one on one time also. 

As a result last school holidays Sam and I had a special trip together. We caught a train to the Blue Mountains, bush-walked down the giant staircase and around to Echo Point, stayed in a motel, went up and down the scenic railway and cable car, and bush-walked some more before catching a train back home. Samuel took my old camera and took pictures along the way, and made a scrapbook afterwards with photos and brochures and maps. We had a great time together and he was so excited that he got to come on a special trip with me. It was a wonderful 'adventure' together.