The differences in my sons are extreme because my youngest has special needs. I wanted to help my older son better understand his brother, who is legally blind and has a low IQ and a limited ability to speak. So I blindfolded my oldest son and had him walk through our home. "This is what it feels like for Mark without his glasses." I gave him a random list of words and asked him to build complete sentences. "This is how Mark feels when he tries to formulate thoughts and speak." I sat him down to play a brand new game but never told him the rules. "Mark feels a similar confusion and frustration all the time." These concrete experiences helped build compassion and empathy as our son tried on his brother's challenges firsthand.
This article appeared in the April/May 2015 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2015 by Shannon Medisky. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
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