As parents, we spend a lot of time dealing with our AHC children. As a result, our other children may feel that their own needs have a lower priority to that of their AHC sibling. In 2012, we offered for the first time a Sibling session. My son Greg (24) and daughter Stephanie (26) were the moderators. Greg recently shared his insight, “Our group had about 15 participants with a range of ages from 5 to 26, and it was nice to have the view of siblings who have grown up with a brother or sister with AHC”.
“The beginning of the conversation was slow, but as the older siblings began to share some of the more ‘embarrassing feeling,’ the younger ones opened up. Stories varied, and included a few things that we can all most likely align with.”
“In fits of violence, the AHC sibling would display incredible strength and would not stop when asked. It was almost as those when in a fit, the AHC sibling blacks out and does not remember anything they did.”
“There was a common feeling with those under 16 that their parents don’t love them as much as their sibling.”
“There was also a common feeling of embarrassment. Those over 16 all mentioned that they used to have feelings of embarrassment when they were younger, but have started to understand what actually matters in life. Those under 16 were still in the realm of not wanting people to see their sibling having a fit, and were reluctant to invite friends over to the house.”
“After each topic or person spoke, we’d all discuss what we felt and the elder kids gave advice of how to handle things. The biggest difficulty was passing along that their parents do love them as much.”
Have you ever heard your AHC siblings express the feeling mentioned above? What conversations have you had that would help other parents?