It is so easy to get wrapped up in the lives of the special needs kiddos in our life that we often forget that the others need just as much attention usually.
This was confirmed for me when I was scrolling through the Whisper app and read a whisper about a young person who was frustrated her special needs sibling got more attention than her (she being neurotypical).
This is how our conversation went (including any typos):
And written with her permission anonymously!
Her whisper was:
"I have a brother with special needs and i hate him! Why?
Because when i was in 5th grade my parents found out, and i ceased to exist, i pretty much became a maid to my family. I feel so worthless :( "
In which, I responded with:
"I'm so sorry. I'm a mom of 3 kids, 2/3 have special needs and I try so hard to spend time with each kid."
Shortly after, I received a chat message from her and her profile showed that she was 15-17 years old.
"Your doing good then. MY parents only focus on him and forget me and my other brother and that's where they went wrong! As long as you try that is what matters. It's when you stop trying, that is when there will be problems!"
"Thank you. I try!"
"Well good luck and more importantly love a lot. For kids that can go a long way. I just wish my parents knew that and if I can help other parents than it's worth it. Have fun!:) "
"Thank you so much for sharing your whisper."
"Your welcome. And let's just say I needed to let it out and this was the place I could think of."
"I agree. My oldest is nonverbal autistic and my second kid has visual learning/SLI."
"My brother is ADD, ADHA, has Bipolar disorder, some form of Autism and a few other disorders. I can't remember so life at home can be quite difficult. I love him but at the same time I resent the fact that my emotional needs are neglected because of him. So I try my best to take care of my youngest brother's needs. And it's not always easy."
"Of course not! Wow."
We exchanged some more small pleasantries and she gave me permission to post this in verbatim on this blog - in a way of sharing her story - in the hopes to assist other parents who my often get tied up in their kids' therapies, emotional roller coasters and different upbringings.
I know I'm not perfect and I know it's not easy raising a kid that can't speak, won't use the toilet and the list goes on...
But what I do try to do is spend time with each kid throughout the week and evenly on the weekends to ensure that they don't hate my guts when they're older.
I try my hardest to treat the V-Man as equally as the others - especially when it comes to teaching him patience, kindness, manners and basic common sense.
I hope this post helps other parents realize that while their kids (regardless of age) may act like everything is okay - perhaps a lesson in maturity that's too early for them - they still need you. Whether they act like it or not.
And dear "other kids in the family" - you are loved. You are strong and you are brave.