Thursday, August 20, 2009

Life Is Tough When Sibling Has a Disability

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Even when 7-year-old Fanny Gunn gets mad at her twin brother, Lennon, for playing too rough, she’s expected to keep her cool. When her friends come over, she’s expected to let them know they can’t shut him out of their play.
Lennon has autism, and his behavior may alternate between long bouts of contentedly holding a spoon and constant screaming, so it’s not easy. But Fanny gets a lot of practice.
When a friend doesn’t understand Lennon’s autism, she will explain: “He has a different brain.”Life can be a little tougher for siblings of children with disabilities. Their brother or sister often gets the lion’s share of parents' attention, and the siblings often must pitch in more than most. They may find themselves thrust into the jobs of translator and protector.

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