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So you’re the sibling to someone with special needs. I bet it’s not easy being you. You’re just a kid yourself trying to figure out where you belong in this great, big world. But I know you’re destined for greatness. I know this because you are being taught the greatest lessons in life every single day without even knowing it. I know there are times when you might think it’s not fair. Maybe it seems like you’re the kid and a third parent. Maybe you feel like your sibling gets all the attention, but I see how awesome you are. You already have one up on the trials and tribulations that life will throw in your path; you are well equipped to handle anything and everything life has to offer with dignity and gracefulness.

There are times you have to deal with more than any kid should. Your parents are probably taking care of your sibling a lot. Maybe they are at countless doctor appointments, giving out endless medications, preparing special meals or even physically taking care of your sibling. Maybe you have walked into your parents arguing, frustrated or crying over your sibling’s health. Maybe you have taken long journeys just to visit that one special doctor who might be able to help your sibling and all you really wanted was to go swimming that day. Maybe you can’t eat certain foods because your sibling can’t and you just really want McDonald’s chicken nuggets but to keep the household calm, you eat broccoli. I get it, kids normally don’t like veggies, kids want junk food. But you can’t indulge on junk food because you know your sibling can’t and you don’t want to rock the boat.

I see you. I see how awesome you are. You are a shining star destined for greatness. Please let me explain why.

You are amazing

You are quietly observing the unconditional love your parents have for your sibling (and you). Every single moment of the day it is being embedded into your heart and soul. Each day you are being taught one of the most valuable lessons in life. Love is the greatest thing in the world and it should never be taken for granted, not even for one second.

I love the person you are becoming

I see you rising up at every opportunity. I quietly observe you and your sibling’s interactions and my heart just wants to burst with pride and joy. I see everything you are doing for your sibling and I am so proud of you. I see your compassion, kindness, and sensitivity towards others. You are wise beyond your years. You are a beautiful soul with so much love to give.

I love the love you have for your sibling

My heart bursts with pride when you are the first to defend your sibling, the first to make sure your sibling is adhering to her diet, and the first to make sure your sibling is included in whatever activity we are doing. I love how you play and are creating precious memories together. The bond you have is everlasting. You are the sibling, friend, protector and sometimes a third parent. I love how the love you have for your sibling is brighter than all the stars in the sky.

I could go on and on about how proud I am of you. I hope you will remember this letter when times get emotional or difficult. I hope you will always remember you are loved beyond measure and destined for greatness. The advantages of having a sibling with special needs are making you a more empathetic, more responsible and more resilient human being. You will mature much faster than your friends and as you continue to grow up, you will exhibit compassion that astounds others. I see it already and you just started kindergarten. You are going to be a kind, compassionate, awesome individual who inspires others and creates change for the better in all of us. All because you are an amazing sibling of a child with special needs.


A very proud Auntie

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Lisa Ingrassia

Lisa is the Director of Events at Zenith Marketing Group, an insurance brokerage firm located in Freehold, NJ. She is passionate about sharing her father’s journey with cancer and bringing attention the difficult path a caregiver must walk. She has written guest articles for the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders, The Mighty & Her View From Home. She is also a guest blogger for The Huffington Post. Fun fact: She’s obsessed with her Boston terrier Diesel and loves the color blue.

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