Incredible Teen Defends Her Special Needs Sibling Against the Haters (VIDEO)

Regan and RussellI'm uneasy about dictating the number of children a family should have. One works for me. Three works for one friend. Seven worked for my grandmother. But in a household with a special needs child, there's something to be said for a child having a sibling around, and an incredible video series by the teenage sister of a child with autism and Down syndrome that's circulating the interwebs this week drives home just what sets the relationship apart from any other brother/sister combo.

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Created by a girl named Regan, the series of videos is aimed directly at the people who hurt her younger brother, an adorable boy named Russell. She's the sort of inspiring teen that you hope represents the majority of today's youth rather than a precocious few. She's smart, sweet, and well spoken.

But there's one video in particular that drives home the special relationship between a special needs child and their mainstream sibling. It's a relationship not discussed often. We're more likely to talk about the role parents must take in advocating for their kids. Actress Holly Robinson Peete, mother of a tween son with autism, dove into the topic last year with the publication of a children's book written with her tween daughter that was meant to describe the sibling's role. My Brother Charlie was co-written by Ryan Peete "because she really wants people to understand what siblings deal with and wants to advocate how beautifully unique her brother is," her mom told The Stir last year.

But Regan takes that one step further. She is not simply "dealing" with her brother and advocating for him. She is, very simply, his voice.

She fights for him not just on a school playground or on a bus, but out in the world, where she is fighting to shut down the people who call people "retarted" (yes, the misspelling is intentional), the people who would describe kids like her brother as "worthless" or "insignificant." She is working to make the majority of youth understand that words really do hurt, working to truly make her stance be that of the "average" teen.

The lives of special needs kids make them pretty incredible, but their siblings deserve to be honored for all that they do too. Watch Regan's moving tribute to Russell and tell us about an awesome sibling you know:

 

Image via YouTube

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