August 5, 2010
Guest Blogger Thursday
Through my Thursday posts I’d like to provide a more widespread forum for parents, family members, and practitioners of children with disabilities to provide practical tips for parents, as well as a place to share their views on raising a child with a disability. These contributions will be their ideas and stories, and not necessarily reflect the sentiments of those of autismmommytherapist
Today’s guest blogger is Mary Craig, welcome!
The Blessings of Being a Sibling of a Special Needs Child
This topic is close to my heart today as my beautiful, daughter basks in the glory of just having won an award at her annual dance recital. She is a devoted sister to our Autistic son just 18 months her junior. She does her best to be patient as we do our best to meet our son’s needs. Yet only being 6 years old; the jealousy beast does still have times when it rears its ugly head. Dance is her special time that’s just for her. We do our best to ensure her brother doesn’t come to class which then makes it all about Megan time with Mommy.
She has really started to come out of her shell and it has become obvious as she smiles ear to ear the whole time she dances her Tap & Ballet dance numbers. Her brother enjoys seeing her come onto the stage and often calls out to her because he recognizes her. It has taken some practice but he now is able to sit or at least remain in the same general area for the majority of the recital which is in itself an accomplishment.
Megan’s dance school is run by a young woman who has a great deal in common with my daughter as she has already walked a mile in my daughter’s street & dance shoes. “Miss Amy” is the sister of a Special Needs brother and knows my daughter’s heart. She knows the heartbreak of having other kids not say nice things about her sibling, being disappointed when the best laid plans don’t work out and sometimes just wanting some special time for herself. She knows the love of a brother and the lessons it teaches you. It has taught both “Miss Amy” and our daughter compassion, acceptance, generosity of spirit and patience. It is therefore fitting then that Megan win the “Little Miss Amy” award for being a Leader (translation-bossy LOL) & being a lot like “Miss Amy”.
Sadly, Miss Amy’s brother passed away but is still honored each year by her charity fundraising dance recital. Our family gladly participates with “Miss Amy” because it is also our hope that through our example Megan will also honor her brother via charity work. It is also our hope that Megan will discover a love of life that she can express through dance or music, or sports or anything that makes her feel accomplished as “Miss Amy” has and translates it into a lifetime of joy.
Having a Special Needs sibling has made “Miss Amy” into a role model of compassion, patience and acceptance who makes each child in her life feel welcomed, cherished and loved as they pass through the studio doors. She is their role model, inspiration and strict but loving educator. The children flock to her when she enters a room and she helps to mold them into inspirational souls as we parents entrust our young charges to her each week. My daughter also is blessed to have an Autistic brother who has already taught her so much and still has so much more to teach her.
Congratulations to my beautiful, dancing Princess Megan on her “first dance award” and here’s to hoping she will continue to be cheered on by her loving brother for many years & numerous awards to come!
Mary’s Blog – Illuminate, Decorate & Fascinate