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Page 84 MARCH APRIL 2016 65 the home calm at times suppressing their own needs or unpleasant emotions. Eventually they might get their needs met in indirect ways and while these tactics may seem to work in their home environment they often prove ineffective as their social world responsibilities and needs expand. They may also take on tasks such as trying to find solutions when parents arent coping well sometimes known as parenting the parent or feel significant expectations from parents including having to care for the child with disabilities in the parents absence Foster says one of the best things a parent can give siblings of children with special needs is one-on-one attention. It doesnt have to be anything lengthyeven just 30 minutes of uninterrupted time doing something that the child selects and considers meaningful. It could be taking a walk planning a meal or going to the mall together. A simple shared activity between parent and child of any age creates opportunities for brief conversations about life to arise allowing open discussion of any difficulties the child is having inside or outside of the home. The parent may initiate a conversation about how the sibling is feeling and coping with the challenges at home but Foster believes its best to simply spend time together and see where the dialogue naturally flows. Creating these types of intentional moments makes it more likely that the child 1 feels like his voice needs and preferences carry weight and 2 realizes that in the midst of the chaos life can bring his life and relationship to his parents are of the utmost importance to them he states. He adds that there are multiple effects the home environment has on a teen or young adult having a sibling with special needs is simply one of the many factors that shapes a child. To increase the likelihood that the teen will emerge from his home equipped and empowered to succeed its crucial that there is an atmosphere of healthy discussion and exploration of his feelings and values as well as the expectations the family has of him while he is living at home. If he is struggling to convey his feelings or refuses to talk about them it might be time to enlist the help of a professional counselor Foster says. As the sibling matures further parents should make a point to support his individuality and differentiation from his family system. Foster reminds us that the sibling of the special needs child is also a unique person with his own set of passions and values. He needs to know that once he eventually becomes a self-sufficient young adult he has the space to determine how to interact with his family on his own terms based on his values and needs rather than a sense of guilt or obligation. Siblings of children with disabilities may develop the tendency to do as much as they can to keep thewaters of the home calm at times suppressing their own needs or unpleasant emotions. - Murphy Foster Insights Collaborative Therapy Group LaunchAbility is a job-placement service for underserved and overlooked adults with cognitive disabilities. The non-profit organization places men and women with Autism Down Syndrome stroke or significant learning disabilities who not only desire to join the workforce but with guidance and training are more than able to do so. Training and placement services give careers confidence and independence to clients who would otherwise be solely dependent on their families or social services. Placing adults with diverse abilities who want gainful employment is life altering not only for them but also for the companies that hire them. LaunchAbilitys literature states Our clients may have challenges in certain functions but every one of them can do something well. Our job is to unearth that hiddenor not so hiddenability and align it with an employer to create a perfect symbiotic work relationship. In the end we are all about eliminating the dis from disability disrespect and disadvantage. Services range from career development coaching resumeinterview preparation job identification and on-the-job coaching for clients to disability etiquette training and consulting for employers. LaunchAbility creates life-changing opportunities foritsclientstogainconfidenceandindependence says Jeff Zlotky a Dallas-based attorney who serves on its Community Advisory Board. Formoreinformationonhiringfindingemployment or volunteering visit LaunchAbility Focuses on goodKIDS There is no greater disability in society than the inability to see a person as more. - Poet Robert M. Hensel