I think it would be great if they could go to one that was exclusively for siblings of children with FASD. For them to sit and talk about Akila's rages, while another sibling of a child is talking about their sibling's cancer and hospital stays, is hard. The issues are not really in the same ballpark, if you know what I mean. So I am hoping to get some Sib Shops for families with FASD ( I am working on this, stay tuned).
We do several intentional things to try to support our 3 kids who do not have FASD, here are a few of them.
- We do things like have date nights with individual kids to try to give them attention.
- Michael rotates through on Saturday mornings with taking a different kid to breakfast.
- We try to have PCA's take Akila into the community and give us all a break and a breather.
- We talk very openly about Akila's disability and create an atmosphere where the kids can talk (or at least we try really hard to).
- We have Akila go to respite once in awhile so the kids can have a friend over for a sleep over or playdate (probably not often enough, but it is hard to find respite).
These are the things that I can think of right now, but again, I need your help. Please comment and give me ideas of how you support your children who are not prenatally exposed to alcohol (if you have any), or if you have heard of something other families are doing in this area, or if you have ideas you want to do but have not been able to try yet. I know many families who have children who do not have FASD, who have been diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), from living with their siblings.
It is easy to get sucked into the vacuum of FASD, and to spend the majority of our time and energy on helping our children who have FASD. We have to remember to look at the entire family unit, and how our exposed kids, and our own stress, are effecting the other children (and other family members, such as spouses, but that is another post). Would love feedback people, and thanks in advance for your time!