Soon this summer I will be volunteering at a special needs camp called Adam’s Camp; however, the camp program that I will be working with is the siblings group of the camp. As I am sure I have mentioned previously, this section of the camp is one that is devoted to the siblings of our special needs kids and adults.
I must admit, when I first attended Adam’s Camp with my family when I was about eleven, the siblings program was horribly designed. Looking back on this I recognize that this isn’t exactly what I’d call a surprise. Back in the 90’s (when my brother and I were born) Autism was just beginning to be talked about, there were very few resources and very little information out there during this time. And as the years have gone by our understanding has grown.
Now, it is a well known fact within the special needs community that Autism not only strongly affects the individual, but the family as well. I go into this a bit with my previous blog post “Autism: How it Affects the Family”
However, I didn’t go into the affects on the siblings of special needs children nearly enough. To be frank, I was a problem child when I was in my teens. I got into trouble, let my peers mistreat me and bully me, and really partook in behavior that I never had before or after my trouble years. As any and all teenagers, I was embarrassed of my parents and was easily impressionable with my peers desires. However, due to the lack of available support for siblings with special needs siblings, I was a highly attention seeking teenager.
At the time, of course, I thought I was just doing what everyone else was doing; but later on, after attending the newly renovated siblings camp program at Adams Camp, I learned that there were reasons for my behavior. It’s been difficult to break out of this attention seeking mind set, but I feel I have greatly improved since then. What I find comforting is that now there are programs and services and blogs and other things available for other kids to get what they need and get understanding.
(feel free to message me as well if you like!)