The Special Sibling Club…

Alyssa and I have a lot in common but it goes way beyond her being my mini me. Her and I are both part of the special needs sibling club. Alyssa and I both have a sibling with special needs. Being a part of the same club has helped me remember that I have to pay extra close attention to how decisions I make for Courtney may also effect Alyssa. Already, Alyssa’s life is revolves around Courtney’s therapy schedule. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about how this could effect Alyssa some day.

But it’s more than our daily schedule. My expectations of how they behave in certain situations is different. I discipline Alyssa differently then I discipline Courtney. If Alyssa could tell me, I’m guessing she would say that Courtney gets away with things. It is my job to make sure Alyssa doesn’t resent Courtney for these differences.

Monday morning was a tough one. Courtney had gone to bed late the night before so I had to wake her to get ready for school. Alyssa woke up super early so by the time Courtney woke up, Alyssa was extremely crabby and ready for a nap. By the time Courtney woke up, we had 20 minutes to get her fed and dressed before the bus came. She was very irritable and aggressive during these 20 minutes. She requested the black Ipad which Alyssa had at the moment. I nicely asked Alyssa if Courtney could use the black Ipad. Of course Alyssa replied no. Frustrated by the amount of self biting Courtney was doing, I decided to just take the Ipad from Alyssa. Rightly so, Alyssa threw a fit. This didn’t self the problem with Courtney at all because now she was upset and over stimulated by Alyssa’s crying. So…now I had two kids screaming with the bus about to show up at any minute.

We got through that insane moment. But I was uneasy about how I handled that moment the rest of the day. Joe got frustrated with Alyssa when she was throwing her tantrum. I reminded him that she had every right to throw that tantrum. I ripped the iPad out of her hand to make her sister happy. How unfair is that to a little two your old. I know, you have to pick your battles and in the end, that one moment won’t damage Alyssa. But what decision of mine will leave Alyssa resenting Courtney?

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