Recently, I spoke at a conference about how to take of everyone’s needs in a family raising a child with special needs. Paying special attention to the unique needs of every child was a key point when discussing typically developing siblings. A young woman approached me privately on the lunch break and told me that she faked getting sick as a teenager. She explained to me it was the only way she could get to spend time one on one with her mother. She was growing up with a brother who has autism.
She reported that she would take a thermometer and run it under hot water until the mercury showed a fever then show it to her mother. This way she got to stay home and be with her mom all day.
Now she and her mom can laugh about it, but it wasn’t funny at the time.