Call for Sibling Stories

From Virginia Bassi, Ph.D.:

I am a licensed clinical psychologist doing research for a book I am writing on Siblings of Special Needs Children. I have worked with children and families with special needs children for over 25 years.

I am not a sibling of a special needs child, but my children are. One day, many years ago, my perceptive daughter told me I didn’t know what it was like to be the sibling. She was right. I listened to her story and realized that few professionals; teachers, pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc., ever hear these stories or inquire about them. Being in a family with a special needs child has an impact on each family member. These stories are important and need to be told and heard. I’d like to tell them. Please tell me your story.

You can define “special needs” as you see it and have experienced it. It can be diabetes, behavior challenges, cognitive impairment, autism, chronic illness, mental illness, etc. If you feel you’ve been raised with a special needs sibling, I want to hear your story.

All identifying information will be kept confidential. Names in the book will be changed to protect anonymity.

I would love to interview you at your convenience via phone, email, or in person. Please feel free to call me at 415.497.0356 or email me at

I want to thank you for your help in advance. Please feel free to pass this email on to everyone you know and post it on your Facebook page!

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10 Responses to Call for Sibling Stories

  1. Janet Thibeau says:

    Hi – I would be happy to talk with you.
    I am the sibling of an adult who has unofficially diagnosed learning, attention and mental health challenges.

    Good luck with your research.

  2. Emily Kane says:

    Would be happy to speak with you!

  3. My sister has Down syndrome. I love her so much but sometimes it is hard to stay patient, understanding, and accepting with her. I occasionally feel overlooked when I am referred to as Maddy’s sister, When I am with my sister Maddy, my peers, fellow students, and even teachers, acknowledge Maddy over me. They glance over me and focus their attention on Maddy. It makes me feel upset and even angry at times that just because Maddy had special needs, she is more important than a typical kid like me.

  4. Janet says:

    I have a sister with Downs Syndrome. She started living with me 3 years ago after our father died. I have lots I could say about my own sibling experience. Would be happy to be interviewed

  5. Tina Rossi Golumbeski says:

    We are a unique case of siblings. Born to the same parents, I was 18 when my brother was born with Down Syndrome. I am now 42, I have two children of my own and I live next door to my parents and my brother. We are a tight knit family and very active in the DS community. I would be thrilled to contribute to your research in any way. Thank you!