Issue link: http://publications.ivypublications.com/i/70936
brothers and sisters who have a sibling with special needs, says kids like Orla have concerns that typically mirror their parents, and they'll be in their sibling's life longer than their parents. Despite the unique challenges of growing up with a special needs sibling, kids are often quick to point out the positives about their brothers and sisters. Orla likes her brother's sense of humor. "I guess a joy of having my brother is he always makes me laugh." When Kim's daughter Zoe, 6, was asked what she thought about her 3-year- old sister having Down syndrome, her response was simple. "Jade doesn't know how to be a kid with Down syndrome. She just knows how to be awesome." Lara, 13, who has a younger brother Asperger's with syndrome, says she's learned a lot from her brother. "I love how Michael always knows lots of weird facts. It is fun talking with him and he is learning about jokes now. He is a riot with his, 'I'm pulling your leg' lines!" I get it. My kids have learned important lessons early, things like compassion and acceptance and an appreciation that every person on this planet is special simply because they are here, lessons I didn't learn until I gave birth to a child with Down syndrome in my 30s. Parenting both typically and atypically developing children is a challenge, but then what parenting relationship isn't a challenge? My daughter Elaina's worry over the future was a huge wake-up call for me. Not only is it my duty to ensure my children with special needs are growing and reaching their potential, I must also keep my typically-developing children in mind. The bottom line is this: it's my job to make sure all four of my children are given a chance to live their lives fully. Gillian Marchenko is a writer, a speaker, an advocate for special needs and most importantly, a mother to Elaina, Zoya, Polly, and Evangeline. gillianmarchenko.com Evans Family Speech and Hearing, LLC Thank you for voting us #1 Speech & Language Program! Family-Based Speech Therapy for Children and Adults Personalized Service Plans Including: • Aural Rehabilitation • IEP and School Consultations • Articulation/Phonology • Language • Stuttering • Voice Christine Evans M.S., CCC-SLP • Parent Training and Workshops Free 199 Spotnap Rd. Ste. 5, Charlottesville 22911 www.EvansSpeechandHearing.com Email: info@EvansSpeechandHearing.com 1 888 707-4997 www.depaulcr.org CharlottesvilleFamily.com 59 Screenings Speech Foster parents give hope Whether you are an individual or a couple, with or without children, you can become a foster parent and impact a young person's life now, and far into the future. There area lot of children who need you. Please call today: 434.977.9847 Foster Parents Needed Comprehensive Mental Health Services for Children, Adolescents, Adults, and Families Psychiatric Evaluation & Medication Management Individual, Family, and Couples Therapy School Problems, Psychological Testing & Evaluation Our Clinicians are providers for most Anthem policies. For appointments, call 220-4686, extension 108. www.pdakids.com Poehailos, Dupont & Associates, PLC Thank you for voting for us!