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Parenting Siblings of Children with Special Needs: A Conversation with Experts from St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development

Brown-De Alba & Bellefeuille_hsWhen parents have a child with special needs, they often find that much of their time and energy goes into caring and advocating for that child. And they often experience a wide range of emotions about the daily challenges, hopes and uncertain future for their child. But what about siblings of a child with special needs? What are the common emotional challenges for them? And what are the possible benefits of living with – and learning from – a sibling with special needs? In this Mom Enough show, Lori Brown-De Alba and Angie Bellefeuille from St. David’s Center bring years of experience working with children with special needs and their parents and siblings, offering practical tips and helpful resources for parents and other caring adults.


Think of a family you know who has a child with special needs, as well as at least one child who is typically developing. What do you notice about the sibling of the child with special needs? For example, does that child seem more caring, patient or mature than most children his or her age? Does the child appear embarrassed by the sibling with special needs or perhaps resentful of the attention that sibling receives? What new insights or practical ideas did you get from this Mom Enough show? Leave a comment below!


For the Autism Resource List with suggested books and websites, click here.

For tips on playing with children with special needs, click here.

For the Autism Day Treatment Program at SDC, click here.

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