99. Should we consider family counseling to help family members deal with a child/sibling with a disability?
Many resources exist to help families cope when a family member faces a disability. Some communities have support groups for various disabilities which offer seminars and libraries for members. Another option to consider is family counseling using a counselor who specializes in family counseling and disabilities. Keep in mind that the focus of the counseling may change over the years.
At first, sessions may focus on helping parents and siblings understand
and accept the diagnosis. Later sessions may show parents how to advocate
for their child(ren). As children and siblings get older, a discussion
about how the disability affects the life of the family may be helpful.
As a multiple, your children may have questions about why one or more
of them have ongoing challenges and others do not; in addition, they may
have difficulty negotiating peer acceptance in a school setting especially
in the preteen years. Families must decide what the expectations of siblings
are in terms of caring for the disabled child.
A good place to start is to ask your family physician for a referral or talk to other parents of special needs multiples on the MOST Special Needs Forum.
See MOST's FREE sample article on advocacy.
Copyright 2005 Updated 7/26/10