Growing Up Special

Thoughts, ramblings, and encouragement from a special need sibling to the world

Real Life May 11, 2011

A friend recently asked me to explain how Alyssa’s condition impacts her daily life. This guest blog post, written by my 11-year old sister Tiffany, does a much better job at explaining that than I could.  Her insights are a lot of fun, but also profound.  Her perspective is a result of growing up with Alyssa and is a reflection of her experience, not necessarily a generalization about all special needs individuals. I hope you enjoy reading and learning what Growing Up Special means for us.

Growing up with a special needs kid is like growing up with a two year old. Anybody that has little brothers and sisters probably knows what that is like. For those who are the youngest or are the only child, I can explain.

Growing up with a two year old would mean you have to play games and watch movies that are for two year olds, and pick out their outfits, and get them ready. You would have to keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t wander off or play with matches and that kind of thing.

The only difference is a two year old will grow up in it’s
mind and in it’s body. A special needs kid will grow in the
body, but will stay the same in the mind.

There are good things and there are bad things about a special needs kid. A few of the good things are watching them laugh and laugh during movies, and play games, and just watch them be themselves. That’s when they’re happy. When they’re mad, it’s a completely different story. They will scream and kick and pull hair and all of that.

I have a special needs sister. She has seizures. That means that she will fall down steps and that her brain will function at a two year old level.

It’s fun and sometimes a challenge to live with her. For instances, she will sometimes sleep with me. So she takes all my covers. She doesn’t know when it’s too cold outside to wear skirts or when it’s too warm to wear sweats, so we have to help her with that. We have a dog, so she likes to feed him. But she always gives him way to much, so you have to help her with that too.

Some of the things to do with her is help her make salads (which are really good), playing cards, helping her make scrapbooks, draw, cut out things she drew, and things like that.

A few things I’ve learned from living with a special needs sister are: how to make amazing salads, to be patient, kind, and loving.