By Patricia E. Bauer
Kids whose brothers and sisters have Down syndrome — or any disability, for that matter — often find themselves interpreting their sibling to the world.
Yet how much do they really know about their brother or sister’s condition? And how do they cope with the personal questions, unwanted stares, and complicated emotions that often seem to go with the territory?
Co-authors Brian G. Skotko and Susan P. Levine have come up with some answers in their new book, “Fasten Your Seatbelt: A Crash Course on Down Syndrome for Brothers and Sisters.”
Skotko, a doctor at Children’s Hospital Boston whose sister has Down syndrome, and Levine, a social worker with Family Resource Associates Inc. in New Jersey, have been conducting workshops for brothers and sisters of people with Down syndrome for the past ten years. Along the way, they’ve been collecting siblings’ thorniest questions and developing thoughtful and knowledgeable answers for them.