Recognising the challenges faced by being a sibling of a child with PDA (or of an additional need in general), is something that many of us parents discuss frequently.
I know in our household it is a very sensitive subject. How do we parent siblings when one may be neurotypical and another has an additional need? What strategies need to be in place and do we parent them the same? Do we take enough time out to focus on our often forgotten siblings?
A fellow parent has written about this subject and I have found it a comprehensive document:
I have met this oldest sibling and I believe she is a credit to her parents – she is patient, kind and understanding. The approach they are using enables her to get some ‘special time’ which then prevents her from ‘rejecting’ her sister, whilst still focussing on what her own individual needs may be. I particularly like their creative approach so that they can include their eldest’s choices/opinions whilst still allowing their PDA child to feel in control. A great tip that I intend to use myself!
For us, our middle child is the one most affected. One of the great difficulties I face at the moment is the copying of behaviours her elder sibling exhibits. One of my own coping strategies is to focus some key time with this sibling so that she still feels special. At age 3 she has had to learn to be mature by taking herself to a safe place when I order her to. I don’t want her to lose the innocence she should be experiencing in childhood. I am often impressed by her understanding already, she tells me she just needs to bring her sibling her most favourite toy and that helps her to calm down. She is not afraid to enter the storm. However, I must not forget what her needs are in the process.
I hope you enjoy the read!