The ‘Forgotten Child’

Rebecca Highton by Rebecca Highton Additional Needs

Rebecca Highton

Rebecca Highton

I am a mum of twins, one has special needs. I enjoy blogging about life and the reality of parenting.

Dear Rory,

Writing this letter is one of the most difficult things I have ever done, yet also feels so necessary.

Any sibling of a special need’s child has a difficult time.

They too are a child, but so much more is expected of them. Being a twin, you have never known a time without Alfie, and in some ways, this has helped.

There has never been a time that you have had our ‘full attention’. You’ve has always had to share, yet often do not get an equal amount of our time or attention.

Alfie needs us so much that you are often starting to help us with him. You are growing up faster each day and are the ‘older sibling’ though the same age.

We feel ourselves telling you to be careful with Alfie less and less as you learn that Alfie is different, and yet you treat him no differently.

You love him fiercely and fight with him as any siblings do. But you are fast becoming so much more than just Alfie’s twin.

You are his best friend as he is yours, his competition yet his supporter, his brother but his carer.

You bring him toys and help to feed him, you comfort him when he is sad and encourage him to babble and develop.

You are learning so quickly that Alfie needs more help to do simple tasks and isn’t always able to join in, yet you always find a way to include him.

You bring such joy and happiness to all our lives; that is indescribable. And yet I feel guilty.

At night, when I tuck you both into bed and kiss you both goodnight, my heart aches that I didn’t play with you enough.

That I focused on Alfie too much and didn’t give you enough attention.

I worry that you felt left out or ignored, or even worse-forgotten. My sweet little boy who loves nothing more than cuddles and dinosaurs, who runs to me for kisses and will always be my baby.

I worry that you think I forgot you, but I never could.

How could I forget my little Rorz, who curls up on my lap for a story, and loves biscuits; who signs when he is too tired to talk and is always excited to see us after nursery.

How could I forget you when your laugh is infectious, your smile is so sweet, and your heart is so full.

It may seem that we forget about you when Alfie needs us more, but we never could.

You make us so proud every day.

There will be days to come where we may not give you as much attention as you would like, but what will never change is how much we love you.

What will never change is how we will always be there for you to support you, to pick you up when you are down, to help you need it and to teach you all that we can.

Alfie may need us more, but you are both our little boys, our babies, our first-borns. We love you both unconditionally and always will.


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