By Q. Silvio. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
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Mother said that as a family they wished to be integrated within the community but after 15 years had little success in their local village community buy acticin 30gm online. They put this down to living in a village where there were no other people from similar backgrounds to themselves (Muslim buy discount acticin 30 gm line, Asian) cheap 30 gm acticin. The fact that Ahmed has behavioural problems marked the family as even more different from others’ and Rani,whom the family consider is perfectly normal,has had to go to a special school,in their view,due to the stress experienced within the local mainstream one: ‘she could not make any friends’. Rani eventually received a statement of special educational needs (Department of Education and Skills 2001) and is performing only FAMILY AND SIBLING SUPPORT / 57 moderately well within the special school, which the family feels is the only option open to her. The family express the view that they have been discriminated against because of their race and culture. This has been exacerbated by their son’s disability, and the combination of the two has effectively disabled their daughter, Rani, purely as the result of the oppressive reactions of other people. The family (actually the parents) say that they feel bitter,angry and totally ostracised by their local community. The only help available is an enlightened support group provided by the local Independent Education Advisory Service, which caters for children and families in the area. It has offered help to both Ahmed and Rani and generated a feeling of acceptance from other children who attend; the group has also helped both parents. Comment This is probably the most extreme case encountered during my research: the case stems from the control family which did not have an available sibling support group, and points out the totally unacceptable behaviour that community life may provoke. The lifeline to this family is slender, but the IEAS is providing a helpful support group for the whole family, although the damage to Rani and Ahmed cannot be calculated. The case demonstrated a highly negative reactive experience, but this is not due to disability alone: in part, it is based on perceived community hostility. Disability by association is clearly Rani’s experience, if it can be quantified in that way, but the double disability is due to racist intolerance for a family doing its best to manage. The controlled dignity shown in the interview leaves one full of amazement at the tolerance of the family on one side and the intolerance of others on the other. Group support Help for siblings is, nevertheless, available at a practical level as Tozer (1996) found when siblings were introduced to groups formed for siblings themselves, and within the protective setting of the group they could express their feelings. This is exactly the situation confirmed by my own research (Burke and Montgomery 2003), when a specially formed siblings 58 / BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES support group provided a youth-club type environment for children with ‘disabled siblings’ where they could engage in activities or simply discuss matters within a stigma-free setting. The support Rani and Ahmed found was not within a siblings group, but in another context, demonstrating the power of group forces in raising the self-esteem of individual members. The question of support for Black and minority ethnic families was examined by Chamba et al. Service provision clearly needs to take account of cultural, linguist and religious needs; unfortunately this does not necessarily follow, whichever culture one belongs to, as I shall demonstrate. In order to understand the situation of brothers and sisters, it is useful to distinguish between the special needs of a child with disabilities and those of a brother or sister.