• Down syndrome;
  • trisomy 21;
  • siblings;
  • brother;
  • sister;
  • prenatal diagnosis;
  • attitudes


This study asks brothers and sisters about their feelings and perceptions toward their sibling with Down syndrome (DS). We analyzed valid and reliable surveys from 822 brothers and sisters whose families were on the mailing lists of six non-profit DS organizations around the country. More than 96% of brothers/sisters that responded to the survey indicated that they had affection toward their sibling with DS; and 94% of older siblings expressed feelings of pride. Less than 10% felt embarrassed, and less than 5% expressed a desire to trade their sibling in for another brother or sister without DS. Among older siblings, 88% felt that they were better people because of their siblings with DS, and more than 90% plan to remain involved in their sibling's lives as they become adults. The vast majority of brothers and sisters describe their relationship with their sibling with DS as positive and enhancing. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.