Exclusion Of A Special Needs Sibling

Amy Sweeney by Amy Sweeney Additional Needs

Amy Sweeney

Amy Sweeney

My name is Amy and I’m mum to Wilson aged 3 and Ava aged 4. Wilson has cerebral palsy affecting all 4 limbs along with CVI but it doesn’t let it st...

"Oh he’s so cute! Hello!”

“I LOVE your wheelchair, is that the Gruffalo on your wheels!?”

Just a couple of things that was said to me and my 3-year-old son when we were out today at the shops.

Luckily he loves the attention and was more than happy to talk to these people, and the others who come to say hello.

My son has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and is unable to support himself so he’s always in his wheelchair when he’s out.

I am a very strong advocate of inclusion and I never, ever want my son to feel excluded from anything.

It doesn’t matter what it is, if he really wants to do it then you better believe I’ll make that happen one way or another!

So when we are out a walk or at any sort of activity, it really brings a smile to my face when people don’t shy away because he’s in a wheelchair because the reality is, it can happen a lot.

But there’s someone else that comes everywhere we go, my daughter.

At just 4 years old, she is only a year older than her brother but her mind works in such a way that I often believe she has much more understanding and compassion than most adults!

She understands her brother needs more help, she accepts that.

She understands that we have to go to a lot of appointments, she accepts that.

But one thing she doesn’t understand is why he gets so much more attention.

Not from me, who she knows has to help him but from strangers just coming to say hello.

It makes me feel a little sad when people are putting the extra effort in for my son and my daughter just gets pushed to the side.

So if you ever see us, please come and say hello to my son but also say hello to my daughter.

Inclusion is about equality and it’s important to remember that.

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