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By Peter Burke

Examining the neglected topic of non-disabled siblings in households the place there's a disabled baby, Brothers and Sisters of Disabled kids information the stories of those childrens and explores what it ability to them to have a disabled brother or sister. via relations interviews and one-to-one conferences, Peter Burke documents siblings' perspectives on concerns starting from the standard social regulations on their lives, the discrimination they face in school, via to their matters in regards to the destiny. He additionally considers the problems for siblings of discovering their very own id in `disabled' households, festival for parental awareness and the phenomenon of `disability by way of organization' - the tendency for siblings to emulate a disabled brother's or sister's behaviour in an try and achieve acceptance for themselves at domestic, institution and socially.

placing this in the context of the prevailing framework perform for sibling and family members help providers, the writer stresses the significance and confirmed luck of sibling aid teams as types of empowerment and inclusion, and makes transparent thoughts for destiny practice.

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Extra info for Brothers and Sisters of Disabled Children

Example text

But is at least a form of remoteness or a minimisation of the impact of the other (see Hopson 1981) and in the case of John and James, Harry is still a ‘baby’ in the family, especially so given his high dependency needs. In the case of Douglas the closer proximity of age appears to lead to anger, as within the bereavement process mentioned earlier, and is about the physical loss of a sibling like those other children encountered in everyday experiences. In Douglas’ case, his anger is channelled into bullying behaviour in the school playground.

The basics are simple: if one child needs more attention than another, less time is available for the other and doing things together may not be possible. Parents are aware that siblings may suffer from a lack of attention: according to an OPCS survey (Bone and Meltzer 1989) 48 per cent of parents thought that they had less time for other siblings. The Department 53 54 / BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES of Health and Social Welfare (1986) showed that when a child had several disabilities, 72 per cent of parents thought that siblings were affected to some extent.

In these examples the experience of a non-disabled sibling confirms the reality of disability as part of the family experience. The experience of siblings is identified as ‘disability by association’, and siblings experience a variety of reactions to their identification with disability, whether seeking attention from professional and familial sources or minimising its impact to draw less attention to themselves. Further examples will illustrate a positive reactive type (developed from the theory of resilience: see Rutter 1995), and a negative reactive type, which is partly a form of passive compliance (the acceptance of disability through conformity to family pressures, based on the theory of compliance).

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Brothers and Sisters of Disabled Children by Peter Burke


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