Bound by blood, but not always by love, a sibling can be your friend or rival, defender or detractor--sometimes simultaneously! But whats the impact on that bond when one sibling has a disability? In this thought-provoking essay collection, thirty-nine adult siblings reflect on how their lives have been indelibly shaped by their relationship with a brother or sister with special needs. Edited by Don Meyer, creator of Sibshops and an expert on sibling issues, this book reveals both positive and negative aspects of growing up with someone who might have received the lions share of his parents attention or who now requires extra support as an adult. These compelling essays express a diverse range of sibling experiences and attitudes. Contributors range in age from 20 to 70 and have siblings whose disabilities include Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, seizures, visual impairment, fragile-X syndrome, intellectual disability, or mental illness. Several essays demonstrate how experiences vary based on a writers age and generation. Many older contributors grew up when disabilities were stigmatised; younger contributors can attest to changing attitudes and greater acceptance of people with differences. Some contributors have chosen to work in a disability field or service profession and credit their siblings for influencing their career choices; others have pursued dreams far removed from a disability field. This absorbing collection offers other siblings the catharsis of discovery and shared experiences. The book provides fascinating reading for siblings, parents, caregivers, and anyone who shares a long-term relationship with a person with special needs or wonders what that experience may be like.
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Introduction; Asked and Answered; It All Changes and Stays the Same; Katie; Driving Forward; I am Not My Brothers Keeper; What Was I Thinking!!; Happily Ever After?; The Mess Were In; Dont Apologize for Being a Brother; Aunty Danni; Breathe In, Relax; A Letter to My Brother; Why I Am an Uninvolved Sibling; Out of Sight, Out of Mind?; The Chasm; Im Still Learning How to Take Care of Myself; Walkout; The Thirty-Nine Steps of Visiting Jon; Willingness to Change; The Call; Happy Ending, Complicated Beginning; A Break for Freedom; Riding to the Fountain with My Sister; A Mom on Many Levels; Kep; Surprises; Sister Struggles; Who Sings the Shower Song?; My Sister, My Daughter; Getting from Then to Now; Finding Molly; A Family Affair; Life with Jay: An Interrupted Family Journey; The Hidden Brother; Transition; Growing Up and Growing with Harold; Easier? No...The Issues Just Change!; Forty Years is a Long Time to Wait; Saying Goodbye to Jack; About the Sibling Project.