U Know: Special Friends

We asked Clubhouse readers to describe their relationships with kids who have special needs. Here are some more of our favorite responses:

Adventure Chair
by Annika D., 10, from Washington

My big sister has severe epilepsy. A couple of years ago, her seizures got so bad that she needed a wheelchair. We call it an “adventure chair” because it allows us to leave the house and go on adventures again, even if it’s just to the library.

One day I was at a park with my grammy where I met a boy in a wheelchair. I said hello, and we started a conversation. I told him about my sister’s adventure chair, and his face lit up. He asked if he could call his chair an adventure chair, too. I gladly agreed. Later I found out that his mom talked to my grammy about how encouraged he was by our time together.

It’s not always easy to live with special needs siblings, but through this I have learned that special needs kids often feel left out. God equipped me to be a good friend to those who are different. Sometimes, being yourself is the best way to help.

Double the Blessings
by Emily H., 12, from Pennsylvania

Two of my siblings are adopted from other countries. They both have special needs and are different and unique in their own special ways. We adopted my brother from China. He has cerebral palsy, so sometimes he walks or talks differently. My sister is from El Salvador, a small country south of Mexico. She has ADHD, which means she struggles to pay attention for long periods of time. Her right ear is also closed, so she can’t hear as well as the rest of us.

In spite of their differences, my brother and sister have both been wonderful additions to our family, and we love them a lot. My mom homeschools all of us. She has a lot of patience. Sometimes we have to slow down and take the time to explain things several times, but it’s all worth it.

My Sister and My Best Friend
by Ashley P., 8, from North Carolina

My sister Samantha is 7 years old. She has autism. Some people don’t understand her, but she is really funny. I help Samantha by playing with her. I love her very much. She is my sister and my best friend. We like to play animals. Samantha loves to color with me and to make me laugh. Sometimes, I help her get dressed. If she runs off, I can catch her. I also guide her. If she picks out a movie, I let her go first and wait for her to go to sleep before I watch mine. She is a very sweet girl. When she eats, I make sure that she sits up straight and does not choke. When we go outside, I ride her around in the jeep and make sure she does not fall off her bike. I love to play with her all day.

Aaron the Amazing
by Amanda B., 13, from Massachusetts

My brother Aaron was born with special needs. I’m about two years older, so I’ve been there since he was born. I’ve babysat him, helped him brush his teeth, helped him with school, made him hundreds of gluten-free, dairy-free peanut butter-and-honey sandwiches, watched him act out scenes of VeggieTales and Blues Clues and tried to show him unconditional love. He loves Jesus with all his heart and is always reminding us that “God is with us,” or “God is holding you.” My dear brother Aaron is such a blessing to me.

My Little Brother
by Arunika K. from Oregon

I don’t really know where to begin when it comes to my brother Keeran. He’s taken us on many wild goose chases over the years. Keeran is a year younger than me. He is extremely creative and super sweet. He needs a lot of supervision. Sometimes I wish I had a little more privacy, but what can I say? My brother has Down syndrome. Every once in a while he’ll go on a “search” for the dog down the street. We’ll end up running up and down the sidewalks calling his name like crazy. Sometimes he steals my sisters’ phones and types unreadable messages to all of their friends. Other times he throws my shoes in the backyard.

There is a never-ending river of crazy memories when it comes to Keeran. Sometimes I love him dearly, sometimes I don’t like him very much. But he is my little brother, and he is extremely valuable to me.

U Know is a new column where Clubhouse readers talk about school, family and faith. Check out page 15 of the January issue for this month’s prompt.

Copyright © 2014 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission.