Roo & Faith are the youngest of 4 children. They also have 2 older brothers who are currently 12yrs and 9yrs old. They have had a lot to deal with since learning their younger siblings have additional needs. I have written earlier about my eldest son struggles as he was bullied for having a disabled brother, how it had an impact on him.
They both tend to struggle with their emotions, they adore their younger siblings but at the same time they resent how much our lives often revolve around the many appointments, being dragged out and made to wait in waiting rooms esp more so as they get older as its "boring" but sometimes they enjoy helping to look after the younger two so it all really depends on their mood on that particular day. I try to encourage them to talk about their feelings more but they worry that I will think they are mean if they complain about something or I will get sad. They do sometimes feel embarrassed with some aspects of Roo behaviour or the way he is with some situations if its in public esp their friends but they are gradually learning that there is nothing to be embarrassed about. They are still young so their feelings are natural and I just try to help them to see the positive.
I personally feel that they both have had to grow up too quickly, they have to often do things around the house to help me out esp if Roo having a Rough day. When Faith first joined our family I relied on the older two a lot and they started to resent it and it wasn't until my eldest got all upset one day that I realised he was feeling under pressure so I had to find another way of trying to make things work out. It's easy to forget that they are still young themselves and often they need as much support as their siblings with additional needs.
But its also been a positive experience for them as they are very loving, and caring towards their younger siblings, wanting hugs from them etc. They love it when either Roo or Faith managed to achieve something, a new inchstone / milestone and often show how proud they are and helping to cheer them on.
The other day one of them came to me and asked what would happen to Roo when we were too old and I explained all the options that there possibly can be and straight away he said no way...Roo will come and live with me and I will take care of him. It really touched me.
It's not easy, it causes much upheaval and upset in their lives but no matter what their love for their younger siblings run deep and the bond they all have with each other is amazing to watch.