A while ago I realised that naturally there was so much more support out there for new parents that have just received a diagnose of Down Syndrome for their baby.
There isn’t much, if anything support wise for siblings. Of course, there are the Facebook groups or pages and fellow siblings on social media but what about those who aren’t old enough to have an account or perhaps just don’t want one?
The one thing about being a sibling is that like a parent you are thrown it at the deep end. Your parents are maybe having to cope with an unexpected diagnosis of Down Syndrome and it can feel like there is no support or no one like you to talk to. As a sibling to a brother with Down Syndrome, I am luckily in the sense that I am outspoken and I understand that some people aren’t like that. Which is why I wanted to help siblings that just needed that little thing to tell them that they aren’t alone and that there is support out there. There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to being a sibling to someone with Down Syndrome and there are many negative comments made so just to see someone who is in the same position as you and being positive can make a lot of difference.
I have created Letters 2 Siblings. It is a campaign that I have started to show new siblings that they aren’t alone in this by sending a little extra support in the post. When Rory was born, I was 19 so I understood everything. I had to explain to my younger siblings what was going on. They found it hard to process and it was difficult for me to explain to them what Rory’s diagnosis of Down Syndrome really meant. Some new siblings don’t have an older sibling to reassure them and at a young age it can be very daunting.
As part of Letters 2 Siblings, I will be sending out letters to any siblings that may need an extra bit of support. The letters will include a picture of Rory and I with letter that will explain my journey with Rory as well as some reassurance. I am hoping that it will help a new sibling when they need it the most. It will be aimed at siblings of any age and anywhere in the world. Requests for letters can be made by parents and by the sibling themselves.
I have set up social media accounts for Letters 2 Siblings:
As well as a dedicated email address for any families to contact me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love support with this campaign so please share this far and wide!