There are seven children in my family with a 13 year span between the oldest and youngest. My brother Kevin is the middle child--three older and three younger. Kevin is deaf and is mentally handicapped.
Growing up with a brother with special needs affected our family in so many different ways. My mom became a champion for children with special needs during a time where institutions were recommended to parents as the main option for care. For me, I believe that my patience and awareness of differences in the classroom stems from growing up with Kevin.
Kevin has such a special heart and being. When we visit, my children love to go bowling with him or to a Twins game. They even try to communicate through sign language. Hopefully, they will gain a bit of awareness and patience through their relationship with their uncle.