TER UM IRMÃO ESPECIAL: CONVIVENDO COM A SÍNDROME DE DOWN
HAVING A SPECIAL BROTHER/SISTER: LIVING TOGETHER WITH THE DOWN SYNDROME
Eucia Beatriz Lopes Petean; Ana Luisa Magaldi Suguihura
ABSTRACT: the present study intended to know about the relation among older brothers/sisters of people with a diagnosis of Down Syndrome (DS), regarding to information and feelings they have about this diagnosis, and if changes have occurred within family dynamics and their own lives. Eleven people were interviewed, from both genders and older than age 10, being an older brother of a child with DS-diagnosis. A quantitative analysis was performed for the sample data, and a quantitative/interpretative and qualitative analysis was performed for data of the interviews. Data shows that most participants (90,9%) know the name of the syndrome and were informed by their mothers right after the birth of their brothers/sisters. Also, six participants consider having had a normal reaction to such news. Most of them (90,9%) have gotten responsible for daily activities; 27,2% considers there was an increase of responsibilities due to the birth of a brother/sister with DS. More than a half of the participants (54,54%) reported positive feelings about having a special brother, that is, they reported also feeling special. In the absence (death) of parents, half of the participants reported having decided to become legally responsible for this brother/sister. It may be concluded that the birth of a brother/sister with SD has consequences for the routine of older brothers/sisters, bringing them both responsibilities and life changes. However, this experience seems to have a less directed effect for psychological breakdown, as there were few manifestations of extreme feelings, having been regarded just to sadness-like ones, when expressed.
KEYWORDS: brothers and sisters; Down Syndrome; family.
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