I pay a lot of attention to how people are with their children. It tells me a lot about who they are and sometimes, it helps me to be a better parent. I have noticed a trend lately and it is very disturbing. For a while now there has been a big push for focus in the area of special needs. Because of that, many children who are not labeled as "special needs" are getting left by the wayside.
Don't give the impression that you are playing favorites. If you are going to promote one child, please promote the other. It is ridiculous for one child to end up feeling unworthy of praise simply because they were not born with a disability. I understand that you are proud that your autistic son was able to stay at the carnival for an hour, but your non-autistic son just finished school on the honor roll and deserves a bit of the spotlight as well.
Rules are rules. You might think you are being kind by giving some slack in the rules when it comes to your child who has a behavioral disorder, but what you are teaching the other child is that there is some secret key to doing whatever you want. Namely, if someone calls you "special needs", the rules don't apply to you.
Let your children know how special they all are. Terms like "special needs" have no place in a household. I can't tell you how many times I have heard a child's behavior be excused while the child says "I am special needs". If there is more than one child in the house, the one who isn't labeled as special needs is often wondering what they have to do to be special. If they want to get really smart, they will reminding you of their own quirks and find a way to get your attention. If you aren't seeing them as special because of the positive things they do, you can bet they will bring some negative ones into the picture.
No one has to get left behind. It is exhausting sometimes to be the parent at all, much less the parent of a child with special needs. Your children can learn to work together as a family, but you have to make that happen. If you don't you may cause a rivalry between siblings that you cannot fix.
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Source: Personal Experience