Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Sibling of adult child with disabilities

Q: I am writing as an sibling of an adult child. My sister who is 52 is currently facing eviction and poverty. She was diagnosed in her teens with Epilepsy but has been turned down for assistance on several occasions. She worked until about 20 years ago at which time she simply checked out of life. My parents basically took care of her during this time. Both parents are gone, and she was living on a small inheritance. As long as I can remember, I have always been supportive. I encouraged her to seek counselling which she has done a lot of but quits. I tried to get her in a training programs thru goodwill and the community college but she always had a reason not to go. My siblings have given up and they think I am the enabler. Maybe it is true but now things are really bad and she will definately be on the streets. We made it very clear to her for the past years that none of us would be taking her in. I alternate between extreme sadness, fear and anger. I thought she would get herself together and this day would never come. I don't know how long my husband and children can put up with me. I feel like I am a bad human being let alone sister.I should call my sister to help her pack up her belongings but I don't think I can face her either. At this point I don't know if I need help for her or me. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Laurel Springs, , NJ I contacted Dr. Art Bernstein, a psychologist with the New Jersey Department of developmental disabilities office in Voorhees New Jersey and showed him your e-mail. Here is his response: I would like to see a good psychological evaluation on this individual, and a review of her history. History and impact of long term seizures would be a critical factor, as neurological deterioration can result over time in seizure disorders. Another question would involve her current functional capabilities/limitations, and to what extent we are seeing the impact of psychiatric.... neurological.... other factors? County Board of Assistance and Center for Independent Living are 2 possible resources. Since her seizure disorder first appeared prior to age 22, it might be helpful to have one of our DDD intake workers take a look at this. You can have her family contact me at 856-770-5921, and I can direct them. Kate Honigfeld, a DDD intake specialist covering Camden County is very knowlegable, and may be a good resource for you: kate.honigfeld@dhs.state.nj.us

Sibling of adult child with disabilities

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Q: I am writing as an sibling of an adult child. My sister who is 52 is currently facing eviction and poverty. She was diagnosed in her teens with Epilepsy but has been turned down for assistance on several occasions. She worked until about 20 years ago at which time she simply checked out of life. My parents basically took care of her during this time. Both parents are gone, and she was living on a small inheritance. As long as I can remember, I have always been supportive. I encouraged her to seek counselling which she has done a lot of but quits. I tried to get her in a training programs thru goodwill and the community college but she always had a reason not to go. My siblings have given up and they think I am the enabler. Maybe it is true but now things are really bad and she will definately be on the streets. We made it very clear to her for the past years that none of us would be taking her in. I alternate between extreme sadness, fear and anger. I thought she would get herself together and this day would never come. I don't know how long my husband and children can put up with me. I feel like I am a bad human being let alone sister.I should call my sister to help her pack up her belongings but I don't think I can face her either. At this point I don't know if I need help for her or me. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Laurel Springs, , NJ

I contacted Dr. Art Bernstein, a psychologist with the New Jersey Department of developmental disabilities office in Voorhees New Jersey and showed him your e-mail.  Here is his response:
  I would like to see a good psychological evaluation on this individual, and a review of her history. History and impact of long term seizures would be a critical factor, as neurological deterioration can result over time in seizure disorders. Another question would involve her current functional capabilities/limitations, and to what extent we are seeing the impact of psychiatric.... neurological.... other factors? County Board of Assistance and Center for Independent Living are 2 possible resources. Since her seizure disorder first appeared prior to age 22,  it might be helpful to have one of our DDD intake workers take a look at this. You can have her family contact me at 856-770-5921, and I can direct them. Kate Honigfeld, a DDD intake specialist covering Camden County is very knowlegable, and may be a good resource for you:  kate.honigfeld@dhs.state.nj.us 

Dan Gottlieb
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About this blog
Dan Gottlieb is a psychologist and marital therapist and has been in practice nearly 40 years. His career started in community mental health and substance abuse until his accident in 1979 made him a quadriplegic.

Since that time, he has been in private practice. Since 1985, he has been hosting a radio show called "Voices in the Family" on WHYY FM, Philadelphia's NPR affiliate. He was a regular columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1994 until 2008. He is also the author of four books.

www.drdangottlieb.com

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