Taking care of a child with one or more disabilities is incredibly tough and stressful at times. It consumes much of the parents’ focus and attention to make sure the child with special needs gets the proper care.
Unfortunately, this can lead parents to overlook their other children. It isn’t done on purpose; kids with disabilities just require more time.
In this article, we’ll be talking about what a “glass child” is, and it’s not what you think. A glass child does not refer to a child who is fragile and breaks easily. Instead, the term is used to describe the siblings of children with disabilities.
They are called glass children because their caregivers tend to look right through them and neglect their needs since they’re so busy with the child who has a disability.
The struggles of glass children begin in early childhood and end up impacting the way they function as adults.
The phrase arose in 2010 when a woman named Alicia Maples discussed her experience growing up with a brother who has autism in a Ted Talk.
Glass children tend to feel intense pressure not to cause any problems. They know their parents already have a lot on their plates, so they don’t want to be a burden by sharing the struggles they might be going through.
They may also be forced to accept big responsibilities at a young age, sacrificing their participation in normal childhood activities. As a result, they may become more withdrawn and depressed.
If you’re a parent of a child with a disability, here’s how to prevent their siblings from turning into glass children.