Monday, September 20, 2010

#4 – Siblings Get Their Own ID

An unfair teacher or a girlfriend-break-up or a failed exam
isn’t nearly as big as your sister having brain surgery
or wondering whether your little brother with autism will ever learn to talk.

So, when typically-developing kids have a sibling with special needs,
they often start to feel their “stuff” doesn’t matter.
Way too often,
they hold back from telling adults the things that are going on in their world.

But kids who are typically-developing have needs that must be met, too,
even if those needs aren’t “special needs”.

We have to let them know that they—and their needs—matter.

Lots of parents work hard at this,
and try to make sure all their kids feel loved.

This is another way the church can help.

When children with special needs are welcomed and cared for at church
 their siblings are freer to participate in programs with their peers.

There, in a loving, life-affirming environment...

Typically-developing kids can be free to discover their own identity.
They become more than just the brother or sister of the kid who has tantrums
or the girl who uses crutches.

They can hear kids their age talk about normal issues...
the issues they themselves have been worrying about,
but haven't dared tell anyone.

They can talk about their own concerns
and receive love and attention from caring adults.

And there...
They can be taught biblical truths.
That God loves them.
He has a plan for them.
And God,
Maker and Manager of the Universe,
cares about them
and their “stuff”,
-- Reenie

#5 -- Next Up -- Adults' eyes open a little wider


  1. Thank you so much for this post!!
    I struggle to recognize our wonderful, typical daughter.

    Liz R

  2. Hi Liz,
    I hope that encouraged you! May you find moments and energy to connect well with your daughter in ways that are meaningful and joyful to both of you.
    -- Reenie