The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

Students share their experiences living with siblings who have special needs

Sophomore+Annabelle+Hilson+poses+with+her+brother+Nolan.
Sophomore Annabelle Hilson poses with her brother Nolan.

Sophomore Annabelle Hilson poses with her brother Nolan.

Photo Courtesy of Annabelle Hilson

Photo Courtesy of Annabelle Hilson

Sophomore Annabelle Hilson poses with her brother Nolan.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Many students at BSM have unique sibling experiences, but sophomore Annabelle Hilson, who has a 12-year-old brother with Downs Syndrome, and senior Tia Sposito, who has a 15-year-old brother with High Functioning Autism, have had sibling experiences that drastically differ from other students.

Although her brother may not understand many social norms and consequences, Hilson explains that she doesn’t see him differently from his peers. “When I’m at home, I don’t view him as someone who has a disability,” Hilson said.

Hilson’s brother doesn’t have any physical disabilities, like a wheelchair, which makes it easier for Hilson to see him as an average person. Hilson believes that her brother is very lucky to be as healthy as he is—— he has had two surgeries, but no cancer or heart problems.

Similar to Hilson’s sibling, Sposito’s brother does not have any physical disabilities. “Just by looking at him you could not tell he has Autism,” Sposito said.

Sposito believes that the biggest difference between her and her brother are his motivation levels. While he focuses on the things he wants to do, Sposito focuses on the things that she needs to do. “The way he acts at home is normal to me but not normal to everyone else,” Sposito said.

The way he acts at home is normal to me but not normal to everyone else.”

— Tia Sposito

Sposito explains that her brother’s mind has different areas of strength compared to those without autism, which many of those who know someone with autism can attest to. “I don’t think his mental capability is necessarily a disability; it’s more like an ability. He is so incredibly smart and the reason why he doesn’t get the best grades is because he actually gets bored because he knows so many facts,” Sposito said.

Downs Syndrome has greater effects on the brain. Hilson explains that all mental things will always be harder for her brother because of his condition.“The mental things that I can do will always be harder for him than it is for me no matter how many hard classes I take,” Hilson said.

Activities like school work are much harder for people with Downs because of how their brain circuit functions. Hilson thinks one of the hardest parts about having a sibling with Down Syndrome is that sometimes those who don’t understand his condition will bully him.

For Sposito, one of the hardest parts about life with her autistic sibling is that she can’t always be there for him when he needs it. “I always feel like I need to help people and one of my biggest challenge [is not] being able to [help him with everything], and it’s hard because he can’t always stand up for himself,” Sposito said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Comment

One Response to “Students share their experiences living with siblings who have special needs”

  1. michael hawkins on October 10th, 2017 9:17 am

    What an interesting article.

    Dempsey handled it with sensitivity and insight. This topic should come up
    more often over the years as a reminder of the blessings we all share with
    all of our classmates and siblings.

    M. Hawkins

    [Reply]

The Knight Errant intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Knight Errant does not allow anonymous comments, and the Knight Errant requires first and last names and a valid email address in order for comments to be published. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Students share their experiences living with siblings who have special needs

    FEATURES

    BSM responds to tragedies through the Common Basket

  • Students share their experiences living with siblings who have special needs

    ARTS

    Drama Department performs new play this fall

  • Students share their experiences living with siblings who have special needs

    NEWS

    Engineering 3 refocused on team-built robot

  • Students share their experiences living with siblings who have special needs

    Fall Sports

    BSM football players receive interest from college football programs

  • Students share their experiences living with siblings who have special needs

    STUDENT LIFE

    BSM students work as camp counselors over the summer

  • Students share their experiences living with siblings who have special needs

    STUDENT LIFE

    BSM’s fishing club celebrates successful first season

  • Students share their experiences living with siblings who have special needs

    ARTS

    NAHS heads back to the drawing board, revamps program

  • Students share their experiences living with siblings who have special needs

    NEWS

    BSM welcomes new senior high teachers

  • Students share their experiences living with siblings who have special needs

    FEATURES

    The State of First Amendment Rights in Schools

  • Students share their experiences living with siblings who have special needs

    OPINIONS

    Save the Dreamers: The problem with rescinding DACA

The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN
Students share their experiences living with siblings who have special needs