Dear Carol

My sis is disabled, and I don't know how to handle it

 
 

My older sister is disabled. She looks different, can’t talk or walk, and she stomps and makes loud noises to tell us what she wants. It’s really hard to live with her, and I’m getting upset. I don’t invite friends over because of her. I’m so afraid word will get out and people will think I’m weird. 

 

Dear Trying to be Normal,
 
Thanks for your honest letter. No one expects you to be perfect. It is natural for you to feel a mix of emotions: Love and admiration for your sister, but also frustration and self-consciousness. Even in the best situations, girls complain about siblings. Talk about this with your parent or relative.  They are aware of the difficulties of caring for someone with disabilities. As for your friends, be honest with them and know that true-blues would not hold it against you that your sister has special needs. They might be impressed at how well you deal with challenges. In short, don’t bottle this up. The more comfortable you become with your range of feelings, the easier it will be to talk to others.
 

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BY CAROL WESTON ON 2/3/2014 12:00:00 AM

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