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Views from Our Shoes: Growing Up with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs Paperback – January 1, 1997


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Frequently Bought Together

Views from Our Shoes: Growing Up with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs + The Sibling Slam Book: What It's Really Like To Have A Brother Or Sister With Special Needs + Sibshops: Workshops for Siblings of Children with Special Needs, Revised Edition
Price for all three: $56.93

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Paperback: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Woodbine House; 1 edition (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0933149980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0933149984
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.9 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-10?A collection of 45 brief essays by children and young adults who have a sibling with special needs, ranging from mental retardation through a number of rare syndromes. The writings are arranged in chronological order, from that of a 4 year old to an 18 year old. As such, they vary in quality as well as in insights into family relationships. The writings seem to be quite honest as some children come right out and say that they feel they are treated unfairly and that their siblings can get away with things that they cannot. In most cases, however, the children speak out against those who make fun of or misunderstand the youngsters who are different. As such, this book would be useful for schools that have special-ed programs or a number of mainstreamed students for it concentrates on what special-needs children can do rather than what they cannot, and makes a firm statement advocating community support for all members of the family. The final piece is an eloquent plea for giving opportunities to special children. The drawings illustrate the children in sometimes amusing ways and add informality rather than clarification. Information on the special needs is included, as well as addresses and Web sites to find more information. The disabilities or disorders are explained in a glossary. This is certainly a different kind of book on developmental disabilities and, as such, fills a need.?Margaret C. Howell, West Springfield Elementary School, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 4^-6. Although the number of books about disabled children has grown steadily, not many nonfiction books explore the feelings of a disabled child's brother or sister. These unpretentious, honest snippets, contributed by 45 children ranging in age from 4 ("My Mommy and Daddy told me that Nicole was born very early and her brain got hurt") to 18, seek to fill that gap. In talking about their sibs and their feelings, the writers admit to embarrassment ("I'm sure glad he doesn't go to my school . . . if they find out that he's my brother, they'd laugh"), anger, and jealousy. But at the same time, they show how protective and loving and surprisingly wise they are when it comes to getting along in a family that is different. Black-and-white sketches are scattered through the text, and a glossary of medical conditions and a helpful list of support sources are appended. Stephanie Zvirin

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Marsha Melkonian on February 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
Children with special needs affect the whole family. The siblings of these special children are special, too. They have needs that are put aside for another time, by their families and by themselves. They usually grow up to be more mature and compassionate, but with some supressed emotions. They are mommy's helpers for life. They need to learn that they are not alone, and this book starts that journey for them.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book shows exactly how I, as a sibling, feel. I loved that it was written by kids about their own personal experiences. What a great book.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
This excellent book is a forum for children ranging in ages 4 through 18 to explore their feelings and describe their experiences living with a sibling who has physical and/or mental difficulties.
One young girl describes her 24-year-old brother who is barely verbal and, in her words "is like a 4-year-old child." This young man loves clocks and can watch them indefintely and his sister describes her trips to clock shops so he can watch clocks.
Another child describes providing skilled care for her older brother who is 12 and has a severe case of cerebral palsy.
A brother and sister, in individual installments introduce readers to their sister who has Down Syndrome.
A young boy tells of life with a sibling who has autism.
These are but a few of the heartwarming, gut-wrenching real accounts involved in day-to-day contact with a sibling who has special needs. Each child brings a special brand of input to the table and readers will come away with a sense of empowerment and enrichment. This is an excellent book for families to bond over and explore issues with. It is also an extraordinary teaching tool. If nothing else, it will certainly raise the flag of acceptance. Please read this and share it with somebody.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Sayers on August 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
Each essay begins with the full name and age of the author at the top of the page. At the bottom of each essay, in an italic font, is the name and age of the sibling who has a special need as well as the city and state. Also included are the hobbies and interest of each author. I was a bit surprised to see this much detail being included. There are a number of penciled drawings accompanying some of the essays by Cary Pillo.
I imagine some of the essays could cause embarrassment for some families since the kids were quite honest with their feelings and interpretations. One girl said she did not like when her mother yelled at her disabled brother. Many of the siblings assist in the daily living for their special needs brother or sister. Some of the essays offer advice on how to treat your sibling, while others have attended Sibshops and kept in contact with other siblings.
Each sibling cares for their brother or sister, worries about them when they are at school and has a basic understanding of the therapies involved with their siblings. The older siblings were able to express themselves with details on school placement and going out in the community with their special needs sibling.
A common statement from the siblings is how it is hard for them to do things they like because there is no one to watch their sibling with a disability and too hard to bring them along on outings in the community.
This has helped me as a parent to two autistic children because my older son is verbal and can comprehend that his brother is not like other kids.
I only wish books like Views from our Shoes: Growing Up with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs and Laughing & Loving with Autism: A Collection of "Real Life" Warm & Humorous Stories were around thirty years ago to assist me as a sibling.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Shop4Ever on June 28, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 11 year old daughter read this book and even asked if she could read some of "her favorite essays" to us - she is the older sibling of our 2 year old little girl who was born 17 weeks early and she has cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness, is tube-fed and chronically ill. Her favorite stories were of the ones that she could most relate to - like the little boy who said he did not understand why his sibling was so ill when she was born. I think it made my daughter feel like it was okay for her to have bad and good emotions about her little sister. I think it validated them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Reader from Philadelphia on June 19, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Donald Meyer has compiled a wonderful book of essays from siblings of disabled children. My thirty year old son bought me this book for my birthday. Growing up, I too was one of these children and would have truly benefitted from anything that would have explained what happened to our family. As one of these sibs, I had to grapple with guilt, embarassment and also neglect from my parents due to the resources, both financial and emotional that were poured into my sister's handicap. My heart goes out to both parents and siblings of exceptional children. It is so much pain to bear for them and they feel even worse about complaining because they are "normal."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. K. Davis on April 17, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 8 year old son loves reading me stories written by other siblings. Each story describes how challenging and rewarding it is to have a sibling with special needs. Thanks to all the wonderful kids who wrote in. My son is going to write his own story just for our family!

I would recommend this book highly!

Edie
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