When I was little, my brother and sisters found it difficult to have a little brother with Down syndrome. It was hard from the beginning because they didn’t expect anything of me. But then I started learning a lot from them, and they started learning a lot from me too. They taught me how to understand certain things that I needed to learn – how to read, count and get to know my alphabet. They let me watch children’s television shows like Sesame Street, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and the Electric Company. My brother taught me to play basketball. He has always been my coach.
My brother and my sisters always let me hang out with their friends when we were growing up. We grew up with their friends, and they got me involved. JR, Ellen and Anne taught me love, support and encouragement. They have always taken good care of me. They showed me how to understand myself and stay true to myself, and made sure that I had the opportunity to be all I could be.
Now, all of us are doing fine; we are a family. We are still helping each other, and we have fun conversations. I am very lucky to have all of my siblings. If you have siblings or relatives with a disability, you need to give them a chance to be included; it’s called family inclusion. Be aware and understanding!