Fortunately, I happened to call my brother today and got the news...which he heard on a local radio station driving across New York state. Since National Sibling Day falls during April I think it fitting to share a few resources I have found valuable for my daughter who has a twin sibling with autism. (Sorry David, I can't expound upon my undying love for you in this forum. That would be off topic.)
I love books and feel they hold the solution to almost everything. The recently published Newberry Award winning Rules by Cynthia Lord is outstanding. She writes as only another mom can, about her older daughter's experience in therapist's lobbies perpetually waiting for her brother (who has autism). The waiting room is such an appropos setting for a story about our families. They became a familiar landscape for us in those early years...as well as an accidental bonding time for one-on-one time with siblings...and a training place for listening ears. The sibling's awareness is shaped by hearing the therapist debrief with mom and the various moms talk to each other. I won't ruin the story but a twist in the plot occurs as the female character engages with another waiting client. It is a wonderful, realistic, aptly written story of inclusion in the end. It walks through pre-teen angst, love, embarrassment, and compassion all commingled.
The Ride Together is another great book for all ages. It is written by two siblings, Paul and Judy Karasik, about their family and their other brother with autism. The cool thing here is that Paul writes his contribution in comic strip drawings which capture the surreal and superhuman quality of our homes and circumstances. Judy writes her portion in traditional words which are always respectful, honest, and loving.
One more thing: Do you know about Sibshops? These programs are offered across the country often in Children's Hospitals or youth centers and are the brainchild of Don Meyer. They can be very valuable to our children at the right time. His resources will give you ideas of things to do at home.
OMG! In putting my hyperlinks in I ran across this great site. The SiblingSupportProject is paying tribute to brothers and sisters and their siblings with special needs. Cool beans! Guess who's behind it? Don Meyer. Thank you Don. Read them to your kids tonight! I'm so glad I called my brother today--by accident.