I grew up in a family with 3 children my oldest sister is not disabled and my youngest sister’s hearing-impaired. I have cerebral palsy. My mom and dad had a very loving relationship. Having a child or children with the disability can increase the pressure upon a married couple. But, It can also bring the couple together, therefore they can work on a common task for the benefit of the child with a disability.
My parents took great pains to ensure that my sisters were not neglected because of the amount of care that I needed. I’m afraid that the one thing that suffered was the relationship with each other. My mom indicated that there was no chance to get to know each other because of the time-consuming nature of meeting the needs of children with disabilities. We can do that It can be useful for a married couple to include the concept of a weekly or monthly date night.
The Divorce Rate
Broken hearts: The divorce capital of every state – USA Today study show that an increase in the number of children generally increases divorce. Surprisingly having a large number of children and a child with a disability does not increase the divorce rate. Based on the study I would argue that having a disabled child in the family binds us together.
Parents of Children with Disabilities and Relationship
The husband and wife must work together on common goals for the children while preserving their own relationship. If they just focus on the kids, the relationship might fall apart, which is not healthy. There must be a balance between” the parents and the children.
Siblings Required to Give of Themselves
My sisters were sometimes required to help with my care everything from giving showers to feeding and even toileting. These are things that no ordinary child or young adult would be forced to do. I am very grateful for the help love and support of my sisters. They both made me feel normal. Their friends became my friends. Often I would do things with my sister’s friends and my sister would get in trouble. Siblings are required to give of themselves and take care of their brother or sister who has a disability.
Young Kids and Disability
I have three nephews and a niece. They treat my disability as though it doesn’t exist at all when they were small I spent time with them on the computer helping them play games and operate the PC on their own. I really enjoyed this interaction because when we played together they treated me like I was their age.
There was a study in 2013 that was done at the University of Wisconsin – Madison at the School of Social Work. They studied the divorce rate in 190 parents with children with developmental disabilities compared to 7,251 parents with children without a disability. They indicated that siblings of children with disabilities have more emotional problems.
Potential Effects on Siblings of Children with Disability
It’s not that the parents are unconcerned about their children they are simply exhausted. Attention energy and resources are taken away from the other children according to the study.
The siblings may have problems with interpersonal relationships. Brothers and sisters of children with disabilities may have psychological problems or difficulty getting involved in sports. In these households with children that have disabilities, there is financial and psychological stress.
According to the authors of the study, parents must cut back on work hours and must spend time with the child with a disability to doctors and other appointments. This might affect the family’s finance.
Siblings Problems Corrected Through Early Intervention
In families, without children with a disability,” the author of the study’s claim problems of siblings are more easily addressed. Intervention and counseling are more available. The study indicates that if the sibling has another healthy child to interact with they will develop in a more healthy fashion.
Do siblings of children with disabilities have problems with interpersonal relationships psychological problems or social activities? Having another sibling to interact with can allow a child to develop more self-confidence. Interaction with siblings can make a child more successful. The study indicated that siblings of children with disabilities are less likely to be healthy mentally. The siblings seem more likely to be unhappy nervous or afraid. They were more likely to have problems at school. The siblings of children with disabilities were more likely to have problems with leisure activities or in sports. The study advised parents to look at their able-bodied child problems and determine whether they were the result of the parent having to spend too much time with the child with a disability.
Problems with the study
One of the problems with the study is that it reflected only a snapshot in time. The authors of the study would’ve found it more valuable to examine parents when they were under more stress and see if the siblings had more difficulty. The study indicated that many problems of siblings do not get noticed because they do not act up they bear the problems on their own shoulders.
There are several aspects of the study that ring true. Such is the fact that parents are tired. Siblings of children with disabilities may not get as much time with the parent. I do disagree with the study’s conclusions because I have seen my own parents ensure that they spend enough time with each child. Of course, there are financial pressures with having a child with a disability but I would say it is no different from the situation in a large family where resources have to be divided.
The study indicated that there was value in interacting with another able-bodied sibling. I would point out that there is also value in interacting with the sibling that has a disability. I would argue that my oldest sister is a very selfless and giving person. She was a great asset to my mother and father as they shoulder the responsibilities of two children with disabilities. It is my belief that with ease of access to financial services such as Gad Capital, having disabled children in the family can enrich a family and greatly enhance its interactions.