How Family Roles Change After SCI

This article contains a video
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Curated by
Kristen Sachs
Content via FacingDisability
Curated by
Kristen Sachs

So much changes when someone experiences a spinal cord injury. And among those changes is a shift in family relationships. Parents, spouses, and even siblings often find themselves thrust into unexpected roles.

"I think role shifts are the biggest change that occurs after spinal cord injury."

Angela was injured when she was a teenager, and she talks about how injury also affected her sisters' lives. "My two younger sisters really had to stand up and help," she says.

Angela's family isn't the only one to experience this shift. Audrey, whose eldest son Nico was injured as a teenager, talks about the shift in dynamics within her family, particularly among her three sons.

"I think the dynamic that’s particularly changed has been between the three boys. ... They’ve always, fortunately, been very good friends, but there’s always the eldest, the middle and the youngest.  Well with the eldest being disabled, the middle child has kind of stepped up into the older-brother role in a very good way."

Audrey also talks about how she has made a conscious effort to try not to make everything revolve around Nico, even though at times it may seem like it. She has tried to make sure her sons all know that it takes the entire family to pull together to work through the aftermath of a spinal cord injury.

"The long and short of it is that out there, the world does not revolve around him, and so we all need to figure out how to deal with that," Audrey says.

How have your family relationships and roles shifted after an injury? Share your insight with us for a chance to be featured here on AbleThrive!

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