FRHD 2110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Genetic Counseling, Ambivalence, Birth Order

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Children and Youth with Exceptionalities
Week 3 Lecture 2
Parents and Families
Siblings and Children with Exceptionalities
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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
oBirth 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
oSiblings have many questions about their siblings’ exceptionality. Parents
should be providing straight forward answers to their questions to help
them cope.
Their sibling with an exceptionality
oWhat caused the exceptionality?
oWhy does my sibling behave so strangely?
oWill my sibling ever live on her own?
Their parents
oWhy do they let my sibling get away with so much?
oWhy must all their time be given to my sibling?
oWhy do they always ask me to babysit?
oWhy do I have such mixed feelings about my sibling?
oWill I “catch” the exceptionality?
oWill we have a normal sibling relationship?
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