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Brothers and Sisters

A diagnosis of Duchenne may alter the entire family dynamic, as the attention of everyone becomes necessarily focused on the child with the diagnosis. However, parents, relatives, and friends must not forget about the other siblings who are struggling with the myriad of changes around them. Remember that each of your children deserves, as much as possible, a happy, healthy, and normal childhood.

Joan Fleitas Ed.D., R.N., is a nurse who specializes in helping families balance the needs of the medically complex child with those of the healthy siblings. She has written an essay titled When Jack Fell Down...Jill Came Tumbling After: Siblings in the Web of Illness and Disability, to help you stay focused and keep your family strong and united.

Be sure to also check out the Sib Shop Presentation (PDF) by PPMD parent Jill Castle who is a family support specialist and FACES coordinator, as well as A Sibling's View (MP3), a recorded session from PPMD's Annual Connect Conference.

Remember also that it is extremely important to connect with other families who are dealing with similar circumstances, in order to share experiences and advice. Please visit our extensive PPMD resources and online community.

Related links

Article: When Jack Fell Down...Jill Came Tumbling After
Article: Facilitating family adjustment to a diagnosis of Duchenne
Sib Shop Presentation (PDF download)
A Sibling's View (MP3 download)
Read stories from other parents of boys with Duchenne
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