The Other Kid logo with children in circle, A Draw It Out Guidebook For Kids Dealing With A Special Needs Sibling, Available in English & Spanish!
 
Listen, reassure, acknowledge and validate. These words summarize the mission of The Other Kid workbook project. Sometimes having a meaningful conversation with “the other kids” never happens because parents honestly don’t know where to begin. Typically developing children may find it difficult to initiate a talk or ask questions about their brother or sister but may act out in anger or shut down emotionally. This book was written with simple words to navigate complex feelings. It is my sincere desire to help families in very challenging situations connect, understand and support each other.

Lorraine Donlon is an elementary school special education teacher at Centre Avenue School in East Rockaway, New York. She is also the elder sibling to two special needs sisters, Eileen and Patricia.

Many thanks to Dr. Jane Perr for her guidance and inspiration.
 
The Other Kid –
A Draw It Out Guidebook For Kids
Dealing with A Special Needs Sibling
Review by Karin Beeler at Contact a Family
This book is a wonderful idea for brothers and sisters of children with disabilities. It comes in a large A4 size so that children draw and write about their thoughts and feelings in it.

In simple words children can understand, the author explains how and why some children are born with disabilities and need lots of extra care and attention, and others aren’t.

The author encourages the children to think and talk about their feelings in a way that aims to make them feel good about themselves. She doesn’t gloss over difficult feelings like guilt, jealousy, sadness or feeling lonely. Instead she acknowledges and affirms for the child that these feelings are very real and OK to have, and most importantly they matter. She encourages the child to think about any feelings and suggests solutions, like talking to someone they trust. They’re invited to draw and write about their feelings on the page next to it.

The author’s style is direct and very warm, giving lots of encouragement and support to the child, and letting them personalize the book to their situation. A lot of thought has gone into the text and making the ‘other’ kid feel as special, and deserving of love and attention as their disabled sibling appears to be. Reading it as an adult you can’t help feeling that any child reading it will feel like they have the love, space and permission to be themselves. Highly recommended.
 
 
line of kids illustration
 
Design by Cat & Mouse Designs
All Contents Copyright by Lorraine Donlon
 
Link to Home Page link to spanish cover artwork