Disabilities in Families

Ever since I could remember I have always had to watch out for my little brother and protect him from the things he couldn’t protect himself from. My little brother Josh is the most simple, loving, and caring boy you will ever meet. As my mom always says, “he’s my little golden nugget”. When Josh was born he was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. At the time my mother was still in school trying to finish her masters and move on to her PhD. When my mother found out that Josh had Down syndrome she immediately thought that her life was over and that all she would be doing is taking care of him for the rest of her life. But clearly that was not the case, Josh is very high functioning and lives very simple by never really asking for much besides the necessities and to play with his iPad. Josh enjoys all of the family vacations we go on together every year. When Josh wakes up in the morning he likes to spike his hair in the morning. Josh does all of the normal things any human does but just a little bit slower. I like to think Josh is more like us than different.

In class, we talk a lot about family. The world mainly focuses on the bad effects of having a family member with a disability. The first thought always is that having a disability is bad. In our culture, we tend to associate the word “disability” with being something bad. For example, like how my mother thought her life was over and that she would only be able to take care of Josh and do nothing else. Through my eyes, my family now perceives my little brother as a blessing. I find it very beneficial to have a brother with down syndrome because my family and I first hand gain a more educated understanding of the world of disabilities. The pros of this would be that I’ve become more aware of my surroundings for myself and Josh, I’ve become more selfless in everything I do, and that I have a such loving and caring little brother. The cons of having a brother with a disability would be that you constantly have to be aware, you’re required to contribute more to the family, your minds never at rest, and that you have to be more understanding. When we talk about the idea of family and what its purpose is in these books and articles I relate back to my family. I like to think that it’s good to have a member in your family with a disability because it makes you a more well-rounded individual. The idea of family supports that we shouldn’t depend on weakness, but we should depend on the positives that make us who we are today and that make the people with disabilities who they are.



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