by Jacqueline Moreno
I’m pretty sure I owe the entire trajectory of my life to my sister, Jessica, but I never realized it until a few years ago. Growing up Jessica’s sister was definitely a challenge! She has severe behavioral issues, is non-vocal, and was diagnosed a few years ago with severe mental disorders. I’m 27 and she’s 25 now, but I held a lot of resentment and anger when I was younger, I think stemming from the fact that I didn’t understand why she was so different, why daily life was so unpredictable. High school really brought out the science nerd in me, and I studied Neuroscience at USC because I was fascinated by how the brain (and mostly her brain) worked. I went on to earn my board certification in Behavior Analysis because I found such inspiration and incredible lessons from how we grew up, and I wanted to bring that perspective to other families. My book about growing up as her sister was published in 2015, and I dedicated the book to her because, well, she’s the reason! I am constantly learning about the ways science and behavior interact to better people’s lives, and am now working toward my doctorate in Psychology. All this to say, I really, truly don’t know who I would be without my sister.
Throughout the rest of 2017, we’ll be sharing stories from SLN Board members and representatives and their siblings with disabilities to highlight the family bond and the uniqueness of the sibling experience. We hope these stories will resonate with you, and if they do, we ask that you consider showing your support for the sibling community by making a holiday donation to the SLN.
Giving is easy! We have a PayPal giving page, which you can access here: http://siblingleadership.org/get-involved/donate-now/
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Sibling Leadership Network
332 S. Michigan Ave, Ste 1032 – S240
Chicago, IL 60604-4434
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