Growing up with a Twin

It hasn’t always been easy being a twin to a brother that has special needs, and it probably never will be easy, but I wouldn’t change it even if I could. My brothers disability is just apart of who he is. Growing up, i got jealous a lot. Since my brother has Down syndrome, he got a lot of the attention. When i was about 3 years old, my mom gave me two “twin” dolls to play with. I named one of them Foofoo, and i loved her. I named the other one, Other baby. I would throw “Other baby” on the ground, and I would never play with it. I did this to demonstrate the way I felt I was being treated. I never wanted to directly ask my parents for attention so I would say things like “Nico (my brother) wants a cookie” when in reality, I wanted a cookie. I would say “Nico wants you to put him down now” because I wanted my parents to pick me up and give me the same attention I saw him getting. For a long time, I never understood why he got special treatment.

When I was in elementary school, I never attended the same school as my brother. We never really got along, and to be honest, I was a bit embarrassed by him. I never wanted to have friends over, because I knew they wouldn’t understand him. A lot of the time when our family would go out to eat or go on a family outing, and he would throw a fit, make a scene, and ruin it for all of us. It frustrated me so much that we couldn’t be like other families and go on vacations and do fun things. A lot of my friends didn’t even know I had a twin.

Going into the Junior high, my views stayed the same. Almost no one knew I had a twin brother, and when I told them, I usually left out the fact that he has a disability. I rarely had friends over, and when I did they would act freaked out by him, and they wouldn’t know how to react. It got worse around that time, because I didn’t like to be seen with him, in fear of judgement.

Entering high school, my parents suggested that we go to the same school, and I hated the idea. But after a while, my views on having a twin started to change. I realized that I have no reason to be embarrassed of him, because he can’t help being the way he is! I began spending more time with him, and introducing him to my friends. Most of my current friends have positive reactions, and they think its awesome that I have a twin.

Now, my brother is my friend. Sometimes I go into his classroom and help him. I take him out and introduce him to people, and when hes talking to people, I help them to understand what he is saying. Seeing our relationship today, I feel horrible about ever feeling embarrassed of him. His disability is in no way his fault. I am proud that he is my brother, because he is kind, funny, caring, and sweet. I realize that I have grown as a person and I have learned not to worry to much about the judgement of others. He is different, and it is hard for some people to understand, but he is a person just like the rest of us! Now, I really care about educating people about disability awareness. I walk around with him and I never feel ashamed to say that he is not only my brother, but my twin. I could go on and on, but I’m going to leave it at that! If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me or comment below. (:

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