Views From Our Shoes: Growing Up with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs


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In Views From Our Shoes, 45 siblings share their experiences as the brother or sister of someone with a disability. The children whose essays are featured here range from four to eighteen and are the siblings of youngsters with a variety of special needs, including autism, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, ADD, hydrocephalus, visual and hearing impairments, Down and Tourette syndromes.

Their personal tales introduce young siblings to others like them, perhaps for the first time, and allow them to compare experiences. A glossary of disabilities provides easy-to-understand definitions of many of the conditions mentioned. This book clearly speaks to siblings; many of whom have never met another kid with a brother or sister with special needs; letting them know they are not alone, that other kids have had similar experiences, had their worries, felt their joy, and successfully met their challenges. Parents will have much understanding to gain by reading the essays as well. Views From Our Shoes is such a welcome addition to the growing resources and support for families with special needs.

The writings are arranged in chronological order, from that of a 4 year old to an 18 year old. The drawings illustrate the children in sometimes amusing ways and add informality rather than clarification. Information on the special needs is included, as well as addresses and Web sites to find more information. And the disabilities or disorders are explained in a glossary.


  • A Note to Readers
  • Acknowledgements
  • Views from 45 Siblings
  • So What’s on Your Mind?
  • Appendix
  • About the World Wide Web
  • Organizations Serving People with Special Needs
  • Information for Siblings
  • Glossary