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Survey Suggests Siblings May Have Problems Functioning

Siblings Of Kids With Disabilities May Have Problems Functioning, According To Survey Of Parents
August 02, 2013

A new study suggests, siblings of kids with disabilities may have problems functioning, according to a survey of parents. Nearly 250 children with a disabled sibling were included in the study which found they are more prone to having troubles with relationships, behavior, schoolwork or recreational activities, than other children.

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As an affected sibling, I can say that these findings resonate. People that are on the autism spectrum have challenges, which have a ripple-effect on the entire family. The study suggests, that siblings like me have problems functioning, and although the 'symptoms' listed do not apply to me directly, I know other siblings that it does.

Growing up, I was blessed to have been a part of 'The Lucky Ones,' four families all affected by autism in our special town. We got together regularly for fun and autism never mattered. Our brothers could all do their thing without anyone batting an eye, and kids and parents alike could let their hair down and have fun.

But looking back, all of us 'typical' siblings handled autism in different ways. There were some who were introverts and found social situations difficult, while others were the life of the party comfortable talking to anyone. Some hit the books hard, excelling in academics maybe to compensate, while others found school totally overwhelming and in turn acted out. 

We only have one married in the bunch, and only a handful of us have been in a serious committed relationship. A common thread amongst all of us kids though, is that the relationship we have with our special brothers is sacred, and will come before any other. What they teach us everyday enriches our lives and challenges us to be better with every step. 

- Ali Dyer, Sister and Social Marketing Manager