Siblings of children with disabilities have a unique growing-up experience
posted on January 1, 2004 - 10:00pm
I discovered that my sons, ages 10 and 13, were drinking a soda apiece as an after-school snack. This is gonna stop, I announced firmly. But instead it suddenly shot way beyond soda pop.
"Does Sarah still get a soda then?" the boys demanded. Their older sister, 20, has cerebral palsy and mental retardation. She enjoys a soda after school each day the way some people savor a cocktail after work....
It's the kind of thing you think can never happen to you — until it does. Your baby is born with a life-threatening condition that fascinates but puzzles pediatric specialists, while it terrifies you and turns your family's life inside out.
Often such surprises come without warning. There's no family history of any such disorder, and prenatal tests have revealed no serious problems.