Christine Matus, Esq. Holds Zoom Roundtable With Young People Offering Advice About Special Needs Siblings
November 23, 2020 at 22:35
Monmouth County, New Jersey -- Christine Matus, Esq, a well known NJ estate planning attorney, recently held a roundtable discussion on Zoom with a group of young people who had something very important in common. They all had special needs siblings.
The New Jersey estate attorney sat down with Matthew B., Emma, Michele, and Matthew V. to discuss their siblings, what made them unique, what they had in common, and how they supported them when others didn’t understand.
“I am very honored that these young people are a part of our circle of friends,” Ms. Matus said. “They have a lot of wisdom and I’m excited that they were able to spend some time with us to share their experiences and to offer some good information for others who may have the same issues with their special needs siblings.”
For more than 20 years, The Matus Law Group has been helping families in New Jersey deal with all matters of estate planning with a specific focus on special needs family members. Ms. Matus’ youngest child was born with Down syndrome, so she has a very personal interest in special needs families. She believes in the power of family to enable each person in the unit to feel loved and powerful in their own way.
All four of the young panelists are in middle school and are just regular kids with very diverse interests. When Ms. Matus asked them about school and after school activities, they expressed the same interests as any other middle schooler might. But, of course, what makes their lives different from any other middle schooler is that they have a special needs sibling at home that often demands from them particular patience, understanding, and maturity.
“Meeting and talking with other kids who have been dealing with the same things can be extremely helpful, even if it is on a Zoom call,” said the Monmouth County special needs trust attorney.
It is this kind of firsthand understanding that Ms. Matus felt could be useful to other kids who also have a special needs family member. Kids who have siblings with unique needs offer a wealth of firsthand knowledge about how to handle difficult situations, particularly when others are staring or treating their sibling inappropriately. Ms. Matus’ daughter, Emma, a panelist on the Zoom call, addressed how difficult it could be when others didn’t understand her sister.
“If somebody gets mad or frustrated at my sister, I usually have to calm myself down first. Then I’ll go talk to them and make sure they understand and make sure they won’t hurt her or do anything like spread mean things about her,” said Emma.
On the Zoom call, each young panelist spoke about what made their sibling unique and what personality traits they shared. And in most of their answers, the special needs part was not what stood out. What stood out instead was the very ordinariness of their relationship and the special needs family member’s part in the fabric of the family. What was most apparent was that the unconditional love they felt for their sibling. Michele, one of the young panelists, put it beautifully.
“You just have to love them like a regular sibling. Treat them the same and love them the same.”
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Matus Law Group - Monmouth County
125 Half Mile Rd Red Bank, NJ 07701