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The sibling of a
special needs child often takes on the role of a secondary caretaker or
are unintentionally slighted by the sheer volume of doctor's
appointments and in-home care. They may experience peer pressure,
guilt, resentment, a feeling of being neglected, lack of one-on-one time
with parents, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and depression.
The siblings have the right to have their own life outside the pressures
and duties that come with having a special needs child in the home.
We, as parents, often are so caught up in the daily necessities that we
don't think about or see life through the viewpoint of the sibling.
Certainly the sibling should have some responsibilities with the special
needs child, but not to the point of being left out of growing up with
the customary stages of life that come with growing up. There should be
a blend of responsibilities and freedoms.
Today's newspapers and websites are full of stories about the California
bill that will allow a judge to find that a child has three parents.
(Check out the New York Times for
example). Every story I read contains something that is misleading or
plain wrong about the state of the law. So I thought I would briefly
try to set the record straight. Mind you, I am not criticizing the
journalists who wrote these pieces, as this area is complex and can be
very hard to explain. But I'm going to give it a try.
We asked ADDitude readers, "What does it feel like to have ADHD?"
Having ADHD does not "feel like" anything. Unlike a physical problem--a
broken bone, say--ADHD is invisible. People offer sympathy when you are
in pain. Trying to explain ADHD without seeming to make excuses is
tough. Perhaps if someone were to create a "sling" or "splint" for ADHD,
the public might have more sympathy for having the condition. -Ann, Tennessee
Every day is a struggle, but you make the best of it. Meds help, but they aren't a miracle cure. You take things people say literally. -Argelia, Georgia
It is as if you are driving through thick fog, on a dark road, trying to
get to where you know you are supposed to be. The problem is, you lost
the directions and have no GPS to guide you--and, in the background, the
radio is playing loud songs that are changing. -April, Texas
President Vladimir V. Putin on Friday signed into law a ban on adoptions of Russian children by American citizens, apparently blocking the departure from Russia of hundreds of orphans who had already been told that they would soon go home with new parents.
Among the children whose lives were caught up in uncertainty by the ban
was a 3-year-old girl with H.I.V. Her adoption by a couple from the
Rocky Mountain West was approved by a judge on Thanksgiving Day but
still required a 30-day waiting period, followed by numerous
bureaucratic steps that cannot be completed before the ban will become
effective on Tuesday.
“I’m really, really stressed out,” said the adoptive mother, who asked
not to be identified to protect the privacy of the girl she still
expected to bring home.
She said she was filled with second thoughts about whether they had done
everything they could to assure the adoption. “Why weren’t we on a
plane as soon as there was even a mention of the ban?” she said.
Created 15 years ago, the adoption tax credit
now allows parents to claim a credit of $12,650 from their federal
income taxes to defray the costs of any adoption. (Although it no longer
allows families to claim a refund if the credit exceeds their tax bill,
as it had in earlier years.) The credit expires at the end of the year
for adoptions other than those of foster children with special needs.
Should the adoption tax credit be renewed with the refund provision
included so that even families of modest income can claim it?