6 Secrets of a Special Needs Sister

I am a special needs sister. I refuse to be pitied for helping to take care of my brother. But of course, there are things I am not allowed to say in order that no one may have cause to pity me. I call them secrets because they are things that I cannot share with my age peers, and they are things I must keep hidden in order to put them at ease.

  1. As a special needs sister, I feel lonely. I am, by nature, not a very gregarious person, so perhaps this should be the least of my concerns. Yet, I have always yearned for a Damon and Pythias type of friendship. And because the prerequisites for that are very stringent, it is going to be next to impossible to form such a bond. If you know of any special needs sisters, do contact us!
  2. As a special needs sister, I worry about death, meaninglessness, freedom and isolation. Death is inevitable. I worry about what will happen when I die and whether Yasin will be taken good care of. And what frightens me is that such a thing as freedom exists. Freedom for me means that there is an absence of imposed and external structure. We must create our own structure. That is why there are laws and governments and social rules and constraints. If Yasin is unable to create structure for himself, we must do it for him. Isolation means that no matter how close I get to Yasin, there will always be a gap that exists to separate us. Meaninglessness comes from the first three – if death is inevitable, and we must construct our own structure and we are always alone, what is the point of life?
  3. As a special needs sister, I am easily offended. Perhaps it is because of my hypersensitivity, but every piteous stare, callous glare and offhand, snide remark hurts me to a great extent. Though, I am very touched when someone cares enough to ask how Yasin is feeling and how they can modify situations so that Yasin can join in.
  4. As a special needs sister, I have to work extra hard to take an active part in my other brothers lives. I don’t have much in common with my other brothers, besides being of the same parents. I can find ways of amusing them, but ever since we were little, we were always rather indifferent to each other – of course, to an extent. But I dearly love them, differences and all, and would do anything to make them feel included in taking care of Yasin.
  5. As a special needs sister, I am fluent in the non-verbal type of expression. Yasin cannot talk yet, but he shows us his preferences in many ways. He can nod, shake his head, tap his cheek, pull your hair, babble, scream, smile, frown, etc. I know when something is wrong with him, and though I don’t always know how to make him feel better, I can always alert the rest of the household.
  6. As a special needs sister, and homeschooling student, I have to find a balance between my voracious appetite for new knowledge and helping to take care of Yasin. 
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