Siblings Of Adults With Developmental Disabilities 

Developmental disabilities affect many adults in the world. They can occur in any form, like impairment in physical, language, learning, or any other area. Siblings of adults with developmental disabilities feel a sense of responsibility toward them. They put extra effort into keeping them safe and secure throughout their lives. Sometimes, their emotions are completely different because of this situation. The relationship between individuals with developmental disabilities undergoes specific changes. That is why it is essential to understand the role siblings play in adults with developmental disabilities. 

How Does Having A Disabled Sibling Affect You?

Apart from the parents, the siblings are the only ones that look after the children with developmental disabilities. A disabled sibling might affect you in various ways. Different people experience different feelings and emotions. It is based on how a person's mind thinks. For example, some people become extra protective regarding their disabled siblings. While others feel some hatred as parents are often inclined to take more care of disabled children. It induces jealousy among the siblings. Some also face guilt as they think that they have caused the disability. A bittersweet relationship is the most common in this situation. 

A disabled individual is connected with many people. They are someone's child, sibling, friend, and more. One thing that many people often ignore is how a disabled person can impact many lives. Parents and siblings are the most affected by their condition. A developmental disability makes them depend on their family, which is why it changes everything. Unfortunately, disabled adults are helpless as they cannot do anything to improve the situation. Only others can help them with day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. 

Siblings of adults with developmental disabilities often suffer in silence because they can not share their true feelings with others. As they understand that their parents already have a burden, they don't want to create more problems for them. Instead, they try to help them by taking care of their siblings. In this situation, parents can play a crucial role in making things easier for them. They can create a safe place to share their feelings and emotions with the disabled adult. Keeping a healthy and open conversation solves many things. So, parents should try the same to identify what a sibling of an adult with developmental disabilities feels. 

Psychologists claim that people who are open to their parents have more power and strength to face any situation. It makes them a bit more robust than usual. They will be strong physically and emotionally.  

What Are The Most Common Feelings Of Siblings Of Children With Disabilities? 

Siblings of children with disabilities have to deal with various issues in their life. Many parents often forget to take care of their other child when there is already a disabled person. All this creates a surge of stressful emotions and feelings in the siblings of children with disabilities. The most common feelings that they experience are as follows-

  • Jealousy: Jealousy arises because parents take more care of children with disabilities. Parents need to understand that every child wants their support and love. They should talk to them about their feelings and find ways to solve the problems. 
  • Sense of responsibility: The siblings of children with disabilities feel they need to care for their brother or sister to be perfect. This way, they often ignore their needs. 
  • Guilty: Some siblings of children with disabilities also feel guilty because they blame themselves for whatever is happening.  

What Does Having A Sibling With Disabilities Teach You? 

People who have special-needs siblings learn many lessons in life at an early stage. These lessons help them throughout their life. According to some studies, they understand how to be loyal and compassionate toward others. This way, they are always ready to help those in need. Society needs them to become better for everyone. 

You can also learn how to deal with challenging problems in life. All the complicated situations will make you stronger than ever. 

How Can We Support Siblings With Disabilities? 

Siblings of adults with disabilities hide their emotions and feelings from their parents. It is essential to keep healthy and open communication between them. They might share their feelings with their parents or other trustworthy people. As a result, it will become a bit easier to deal with negative thoughts. 


Siblings of adults with disabilities have to face many changes in their lives. The only way they can deal with them is by communicating with others. Some mindfulness methods will also help in avoiding negative thinking.