Ciara is a wonderful, intelligent, and aware 14 year old. She’s the middle child and has two siblings with developmental and physical disabilities. Her older brother has autism and she describes him like a “big, gentle giant” and a “teddybear.” Her younger sister is 12 and has epilepsy.
She is closer with her younger sister than she is with her older brother, explaining that she and her sister “just click”. There’s often a newfound sense of annoyance towards immediate family that comes with being a 14-year-old, but Ciara didn’t exhibit any of that. Instead, she makes time every week to spend with her siblings, watching TV with her sister and a Disney movie with her brother.
As a young child, she had moments when she felt embarrassed to be around her siblings in public. Despite that and other social challenges, her friends know and appreciate her siblings. Here she explains how they have affected her socially:
What stood out the most to me was Ciara’s ability and willingness to be an advocate for her siblings. This isn’t unusual to sibs, but Ciara exemplifies such passion and charisma at such a young age. She’s thoughtful, well-spoken, and educated about how best to campaign for the disabilities community.
“I’ve always been a big advocate for special needs because a lot of people don’t know about it”. When she was younger, her motto was “If you stare at them, I glare at you.”