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I want to be able to lead my own life

Many siblings are concerned about how their disabled brothers and sisters will cope with moving to a bigger school. They wonder if teachers will understand their brother or sister's needs and if other pupils will be kind to them. It is a big change for all children going to secondary school, but siblings know that it is can be harder for children who need support with learning, communicating and with making friends. Parents may also be feeling worried about this and that affects siblings too.

All siblings want to be able to do their own thing and to be able to choose how much time they spend doing stuff with their brothers and sisters. However, it can seem that siblings are expected to do everything with their disabled brothers and sisters. For some siblings this can feel like a lot of pressure, especially if their parents have asked them to do this.

Things that can help you with leading your own life


Even if your disabled brother or sister is not able to take part in an activity e.g. football club or drama group, it is still OK for you to do this on your own. By enjoying your own activities your wellbeing will be better and this will be better for your relationship with your disabled brother or sister.


It is good to take up opportunities to do things that you might not be able to do with your family, for example going camping with a friend’s family, or having a sleepover at someone else’s house.


It is OK to have your own friends. You don’t have to be your brother or sister’s best friend.


Ask your parent about how much they expect you to be with your brother or sister. Let them know if you feel it is too much and how having time for your own activities will help you feel better.

I made a picture to show my sister when I would play with her and when I would be doing my own thing. She is getting used to it.

More about the future

Many siblings wonder about the future. They want to be able to lead their own lives and also want their brothers and sisters to have good lives too.

Sibling info about disability

Many siblings find it hard to understand disability. Find out about different disabilities and conditions here.

Ask our sibling advisor

Need some information or advice? You can ask our sibling advisor any question about sibling issues.