Special Brothers and Sisters

Stories and Tips for Siblings of Children with a Disability or Serious Illness

This book is for the siblings of children with special needs, disability or serious illness. It has been written in response to parents saying that there is not enough written information for siblings.

We want your son or daughter to know that he or she is not alone or unusual. We have collected stories from siblings in 40 families. In these families, there are children with a wide range of special needs, disabilities and serious illness. The siblings range in age from 3½ to 18 years. We hope that your son or daughter will read or listen to these stories and identify with some of the siblings and their experiences.

You may like to read through these stories with your son or daughter or let him or her read alone. We suggest that you look through the book before giving it to your child. There may be some issues you want to discuss with your child before he or she reads it. Next, to each story, there is a box giving tips and more information about a topic that has been mentioned. We have written about issues that are common concerns for many siblings, such as jealousy, embarrassment and worry about the future. Some of the tips in the boxes encourage the sibling to talk with you about the issue.

At the end of each story, the section called Keywords explained explains the words that are in bold. The Find out more section, at the back of the book (pages 86–90), gives a brief description, for children, of the disabilities and illnesses that are referred to in the stories.

The stories have been organized by age. If you are looking for a particular illness or condition in a story, the index at the back of the book will help you to find it.

Many parents whose children are featured in this book said that the process of writing the stories was very beneficial for the siblings. We hope that your children find them helpful too. You can email your views to us – our details are provided at the back of this book.

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