Being the Other One

Growing Up with a Brother or Sister Who Has Special Needs

By Kate Strohm
(Shambhala, Paperback, 9781590301500, 224pp.)

Publication Date: February 8, 2005

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Description

When there's a disabled child in the family, how are normally developing siblings affected? According to Kate Strohm, a counselor and health educator, siblings of the disabled face particular emotional challenges that are often overlooked. Able siblings commonly struggle with feelings of isolation, grief, anger, and anxiety—and these and other emotional issues can have lifelong effects.

Being the Other One is based on the author's own experience (as a sibling of a sister with cerebral palsy) and on extensive interviews she conducted with siblings of all ages. In clear and compassionate terms, Strohm explores the often secret feelings of siblings and offers valuable strategies for coping with the challenges they face.

Being the Other One reveals the difficulties faced by siblings at all stages of life, from early childhood through adulthood, when siblings must often assume responsibility for the care of their disabled brothers and sisters. Though the book looks honestly at the many challenges that siblings face, it is full of encouragement and practical strategies. Strohm emphasizes that when siblings are able to clearly identify and openly express their feelings and concerns—and when parents and health professionals offer the needed support—siblings can thrive. This book includes writing exercises for personal exploration and a substantial resources section listing helpful books, organizations, and websites.




About the Author

Kate Strohm is a counselor, health educator, and journalist. She is the director of Siblings Australia, a program that provides resources and support for siblings of children with special needs, as well as for their families and health care providers. She is a sibling herself to a sister with cerebral palsy.




Praise For Being the Other One

"Insightful and informative, honest and heartening, Being the Other One is an empowering guide that illuminates the lifelong challenges faced by the siblings of people with disabilities. Whether you're a parent, a professional, or, like Kate Strohm herself, a sibling, you reach for this book again and again, finding both support and solutions in its pages."—Rachel Simon, author of Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey

"This book really made me think. Kate Strohm's wise commentary urges us all to be honest about the rough parts of living with disability in the family, and her practical strategies help us to make the most of what's good."—Judy Karasik, coauthor of The Ride Together: A Brother and Sister's Memoir of Autism in the Family

"A wonderfully readable and practical contribution to the growing list of books about and by siblings of people who have disabilities. Kate does a marvelous job of weaving her personal experiences with useful advice for parents, service providers, and siblings themselves."—Don Meyer, Director, Sibling Support Project of the Arc of the United States

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