Having a Special Needs Brother is "Awesome," Says 13-Year-Old

Liam, now 14

I wonder a lot about what our family life will look like in a few years. You might have read my musings about The Unusual Ways Disability Affects a Non-Disabled Twin, the personality traits I see emerging in JJ and how his sibling's disability will affect him in years to come.

So it was with great interest that I read a fellow cerebral palsy mom blogger's post about her 13-year-old's editorial in a national magazine, Pediatric Nursing. (Wa-hoo! Go Liam!)

I highly recommend this article, it's funny, sweet and wise beyond his years.

Liam wrote of his brother Aiden (11 years old, non-verbal, seizures, power chair) that: "To me, even from the first moment I laid eyes on him, he seemed normal." Here are some more of my favorite quotes from the article:

"For me, (his disability) meant that there were lots of strangers in my house and invading my space while they played with my brother."

"At (7 years old), having Aidan as a brother seemed awesome. He was giggly most of the time, and I would never fight with him. It also seemed pretty cool to go on doctor visits and get stickers all the time. To most kids, the hospital may seem scary, but when I first went to the emergency room to get a splinter removed, they had free drinks and a cool goldfish tank. What was not to love about the hospital?"

"Some people in public have what I call “Excessive Staring Syndrome (ESS).” People affected by this afflic- tion can show these symptoms: staring at people in wheelchairs because they are different, staring at anyone who is different, and quickly looking away if someone sees them staring. When I was a kid, this never really bothered me, partially because I never knew that people were looking at him and partially because I didn’t realize that they weren’t staring at him because he was so handsome."

"If you keep someone locked away from society, when people do see them, they will stay away from them like they have a contagious disease. However, when you let children and adults talk to the special child and get to know them, suddenly you have an accepted child."

"Some of the best parts about being his brother are that I get to be close to him and support him through everything he does."

"I don’t feel like (accessibility issues) takes away from our being a happy family; all you need for that is time together."

Please hop over to this bright young man's mother's blog to read her post "From The Rooftop" today for Special Needs Sibling Week!

This post is part of Special Needs Sibling Week, a series on siblings of people with disabilities in honor of National Sibling Day, April 10. 

Do you blog? Participate in Special Needs Sibling Week by linking up your post below:

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Dark & Light: A Love Story in Black and White is a beautiful and insightful board book available here. All profits go towards my son's medical needs. 


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