Parents usually give more attention to children with special needs. This is why there are times when other children become confused or even jealous with the attention that their sibling is receiving.
As early as possible, parents should explain the whole situation to the other kids. This should be done often too as children’s reactions and understanding change over time as they continue to grow. Talk to them about their sibling’s disability and give them insights on what to expect from their brother or sister. You also need to inform them about their sibling’s strengths and weaknesses.
Be sure that you give age-appropriate information to your children. Each stage in a child’s life is different, and their emotional and mental capacity for understanding will depend on which stage they are in.
As parents, be sure that you spend quality time not only with your special child but as well as with your other children. Encourage your other children to develop relationships outside the family. Teach them how to make friends with others, and if they should ever worry about how their friends would react to their special sibling, practice how they should explain their sibling’s condition by role-playing or through possible conversations that could happen outside of the house.
Always find opportunities to complement your children in their efforts to help or take care of their sibling’s special needs. Don’t’ forget, though, to allow other children to have their own time and space to do what they want.
Finally, keep communication lines open with your children. Once in a while, you may schedule periods for family discussions, where your children can say something or ask questions about their special sibling. This will give you the opportunity to clear things for them, and address whatever it is that may be bothering them.