It Isn't Fair!: Siblings of Children with Disabilities. Edited by Stanley D. Klein, Maxwell J. Schleifer. Praeger (1993).
Book review by Cindy Warner Baker
This book presents a variety of perspectives on the relationship of siblings to children with disabilities. The sections are written in the first person by parents, young adult siblings, younger siblings, and professionals. My husband, Doug, and I both read portions of this book, and observed that some of the sections are written with almost painful honesty. One college-aged sibling began her reflections with the following: “All of the members of my family are disabled. But most people recognize only the disability of my deaf sister… Parents realize this to some extent because they themselves are affected, (but) sometimes they become so involved with the problems directly related to their disabled child that they lose sight of the effect upon the other children.” Another young man begins, “Sometimes I wish I could kill my brother, yet other times I wish I could love him.” These writers go on to express the often-painful challenges of living with siblings who have disabilities, yet they also speak of the hard-won maturity and growth they see in themselves as well. As the parents in a family of seven, we have struggled ourselves to care well for each of our children, and appreciate tools such as this book which speak to the needs and challenges which can face the non-disabled children in a family.
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