Being the sibling of a child with special needs has its own unique challenges that often go unrecognized, unseen ... especially when the disability itself is invisible.As the “typical” sister, Morasha Winokur candidly shares her story about the invisible life that exists within a life that others think they know. Hidden dreams and hidden challenges become understood and embraced when a specially trained Behavioral Assistance Dog for Morasha’s brother joins the family.
Through the unconditional presence and skilled companionship of Chancer, an irresistible 90 lb. Golden Retriever, healing happens for not onlyMorasha’s brother, but for each member of the family in unexpected ways.
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Excerpts Chapter 10 : I Love My Mom but…— Page 51
So this advocacy thing is really important for people with special needs. Especially kids. After all, we’re just kids. And let’s face it, kids don’t always get the attention they deserve.
Mom taught me that for Iyal it’s especially important that he can talk about his disability and feel okay about it. Because FASDs are “invisible” or mostly hidden, people usually jump to conclusions when they see Iyal “misbehaving”. And that’s where Iyal needs to learn that it’s okay to talk about having a disability or a brain injury.
Chapter 11: Out and About — Page 57
When my mother and I go out shopping I usually get asked, “What’s the matter?” because people think something is wrong with me. They just can’t get it into their head that it’s okay for people to all be different and some people need to wear glasses, or use a wheelchair for better abilities.
I reply, “Nothing, the service dog is for my brother, but we just wanted to take him for a walk. My brother is not here right now.”
The person who asks that question responds “oh”, or nothing at all and turns away.
I get that a lot.
It’s really quite annoying.
Chapter 12: Visible New Paw Prints — Page 59
I think people often believe that my brother will grow out of FASD and “get well”. Well that doesn’t happen. Iyal will have to work hard to live his life every single day. He will struggle in school. He will have trouble with making and keeping friends. He will be sad because of how hard life is for him sometimes. He will be mad when he sees other people able to do things he can’t.