melancholic woman watching video on laptop at home

Unintentional Neglect

sad isolated young woman looking away through fence with hope

This is the new term I am giving for us Sibs- Unintentional Neglect. In previous, blog posts I have discussed updating the ACE studies and Our Own Trauma as Siblings. These are the words I was looking for. We have the same symptoms of other children that were neglected in childhood and it was not intentional.

What are signs and symptoms of neglect in children?

profile view of woman playing on rocking bench

In the most severe cases, trauma in children can look like:

  • rocking
  • pacing
  • bouncing
  • wringing hands
  • poor eye contact
  • decreased social interactions
  • decreased sleep patters
  • delays in development
  • sense of self is negative
  • self soothing is difficult
  • self injurious behaviors

There are more subtle signs as well:

  • irritability
  • anger
  • agression
  • anxiety/panic
  • perfectionism
  • chronic worry
  • stuck or appear lazy
  • spacing out
  • shame
  • people pleasing
  • difficulty saying-no
  • prioritizing others
  • acting like a mini adult or too mature for their age
melancholic woman watching video on laptop at home

Does any of this resonate? I am not trying to blame parents. What I want people to realize is that kids are kids. When you there is a sibling with a disability, things are different. No one is at fault.

I was listening to a presentation from Youth Move Suncoast which is part of our local NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). In one of the training videos about recognizing signs that a child may need mental health support was a teenager saying he had a sibling with Autism. YES NAMI! I will be digging into more of their programs for youth to support the sibs and sharing as I find more sib support.

“In order to empathize with someone‚Äôs experience, you must be willing to believe them as they see it, and not how you imagine their experience to be

Brene Brown


NAMI crisis hotline18002738255
NAMI Sarasota/Manatee9414443428

Hope everyone has a safe and health holiday season!

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