Children and Youth with Exceptionalities
Week 3 Lecture 2
Parents and Families
Siblings and Children with Exceptionalities
• Little information available
• Experience similar emotions to their parents in reacting to their siblings: fear,
anger and guilt.
• May be pressure on the typical developing child to “make up for” the deficits in
the child with an exceptionality. May find themselves baring higher expectations
from their parents or they may be expected to repress their abilities to not
outperform their sibling with an exceptionality.
• Child may feel embarrassment in relating to the sibling with an exceptionality in
the company of peers in public. (ie. De-identification and not wanting to associate
with their sibling).
• Sibling without an exceptionality may take on caretaking or teacher role when
interacting with their sibling.
• Children can adapt well or poorly to having family members with
• Siblings’ adjustment
o Birth order, gender, and age difference between siblings influence
adjustment. (ie. adults who are of the same gender as their sibling with an
exceptionality experience closer emotional bonds with each other = gender
makes a difference).
• Access to information is key for sibling adjustment
o Siblings have many questions about their siblings’ exceptionality. Parents
should be providing straight forward answers to their questions to help
• Their sibling with an exceptionality
o What caused the exceptionality?
o Why does my sibling behave so strangely?
o Will my sibling ever live on her own?
• Their parents
o Why do they let my sibling get away with so much?
o Why must all their time be given to my sibling?
o Why do they always ask me to babysit?
o Why do I have such mixed feelings about my sibling?
o Will I “catch” the exceptionality?
o Will we have a normal sibling relationship? • Their friends
o How can I tell my best friend about my sibling?
o Will my friends tell everyone at school?
o What should I do when other kids make fun of children with
• Their school and community
o What happens in special education classes?
o Will I be compared to my sibling?
o What should I tell strangers?
o Will I be responsible for my sibling when my parents die?
o Do I need genetic counselling?
o Should I join a siblings’ group?
1. How do Sibshops provide the siblings of children with exceptionalities
opportunities for peer support?
2. How do Sibshops positively impact the feeling of children who have siblings with
exceptionalities? Being able to talk in an open environment to other’s who may be
experiencing similar feelings or reactions to their siblings.
3. How do Sibshops teach coping strategies to children who have siblings with an
exceptionality? It taught them new strategies that they are able to bring home to
interact with their siblings. Creates a better environment for the family. During
the group, they were able to take on the role of a child with an exceptionality to
Family Involvement in Treatment and Educat