Siblings of a Child with Albinism

Lately I’ve been thinking about why I created the category on this site called Dominick and Rebekah. At the same time, I’ve been thinking about or feeling like lately I’ve been spending an enormous amount of my time focused on Lyra’s needs and neglecting the needs of Dominick and Rebekah. Have they noticed? I’m sure they have. A couple of friends and family members even questioned me about the time I’ve been spending on Lyra compared to my other two. How has it affected them? I have no clue, at least right at this moment. Apparently I’ve been too busy to notice, and that’s a problem.

So this is the type of post that would fall under the category Dominick and Rebekah. How does having a child with albinism affect the lives of his/her siblings both in positive ways and in negative ways?

Earlier this week, an interesting post popped up in my blog reader from a blog I recently subscribed to, Parenting Special Needs on The post was entitled: What Siblings Would Like Parents to Know. I think it was exactly what I needed to read and exactly when I needed to read it. A couple of things I read in it really jumped out at me.
The first, was that siblings of a child with special needs will be in the life of that child longer than anyone else. Dominick and Rebekah will have a relationship with their sister long after I’m gone. What kind of relationship do I want that to be? Of course I want it to be a positive relationship. I want them all to be close, and to love and care for each other. The last thing I want to do is cause Dominick or Rebekah to feel resentment. What if I’ve already started to do that?

The other point in the article that jumped out at me was this: “One child’s special needs should not overshadow another’s achievements and milestones.” This made me think back to a couple of weeks ago. Dominick turned 6 on January 31st and we had a birthday party for him the following weekend. However, because I didn’t bother to send out the invitations until a week before the party, only 1 of his friends showed up at the party. He didn’t seem to mind, and he had a blast with his one friend, but I’m sure at some point he thought about it and was a little sad. It was MY fault, but who would Dominick blame…me…or Lyra?

I know this is just one experience/situation and ONE experience doesn’t make or break a relationship. I may be reading more into it, but at the very least, it’s been a wake-up call. I need to pay better attention to how I’m spending time with my children and how equally. I need to remind myself that I as I raise my children, I am laying the foundation for their evolving relationship as siblings and ask myself if I want that relationship to be positive or negative.

Here are a couple of resources I found related to the subject of siblings of children with special needs:

The Sibling Support Project

Children with Disabilities: Understanding Sibling Issues

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