A blogger recently asked siblings of kids with Down syndrome to share their experiences. Did they ever feel like their sibling was a burden? Was it difficult for them growing up with a sibling with Down syndrome? The responses were overwhelmingly positive.
One woman, Leah, described how her sister was instrumental in equipping her for her future career as a nurse, because she helped her to be empathetic towards the people around her:
Having Darcie has helped me with my career as a children’s nurse also. Giving me more empathy and knowledge of children with complex backgrounds and teaching me to have more patience and time for people. Sharing our story has enabled me to support parents that have had ‘surprise’ babies, giving advice and reassurance that everything will be ok.
Thirteen-year-old Genna spoke of her brother’s joyfulness:
Some people say that it must be terrible to have a brother with Down’s syndrome, but they’re wrong. Having Jaxon in my life has made me a lot happier and he has given me a more positive view of life. Anything he achieves we all cheer and clap our hands, and we all have a massive smile on our face.
Jamie describes how his sister loves people and inspires him to get out of his comfort zone.
Ever since she could walk and talk, our sister Rachel has been the out-going, loud-mouthed, boisterous member of the family. She will make conversation with any member of the unsuspecting British public, and has no qualms about dragging a reluctant sibling into the conversation. It has been rewarding to see how her smile and her innocence and her playful but biting sense of humour has touched the lives of so many people. It has been comforting to see almost every person she has ever spoke to return the favour. And it has been an unsuspected bonus to be dragged along for the ride.
Victoria talks about her sister Amie, and how natural it is to have a sister with Down syndrome- no different from any other sibling:
She has done amazingly well like attending main stream schools, and has now gone off to college. She amazes me every single day with the things that she achieves, she’s just like any other teenager. She is funny, strong willed, loving, caring and the list could go on.
The love that these siblings have for their brothers and sisters with Down syndrome, and the love that those brothers and sisters demonstrate to them, is truly inspiring.