1. Any reward program should be available to all the children in the home. If you child with special needs is receiving a token or reward system then include all children in this program. By including everyone the children all feel they are treated equally and will not feel resentment or anger towards the child with special needs when they receive reinforcers such as a cookie or an outing. If the other children are resentful or angry that might result in more aggression and aggitation or non-compliance from the child with special needs.
2. When consequences such as loosing an outing occurs then you have a choice of either having both children loose the outing or making sure the child with good behavior gets some alternative reward. The most important factor is that the child with special needs realizes he earns the outing only after good behavior. In the case where the other child is good it is usually better to have both children loose the priveledges since that way the child without special needs may help his brother to avoid having tantrums in the future. However, it can also be helpful to have the special needs child see the other child get the reinforcer for good behavior. Either method is useful. Parents should try to see which method results in more improvements in the children's behavior. The only crucial factor is that the consequence of not earning it for the special needs child is implemented consistantly.
3. If the child with special needs requires alot of doctor appointments it may be helpful to take the other child with you and see the doctor for a general check-up or any minor issues they have. This will help to include him and avoid the situation in which the "normal" child is not getting as much attention and time from the parents. This can also be accomplished by offering another fun activity for the "normal" child while his sibling is at the doctor office.
4. If the child with special needs has special equipment such as ipad or toys it is good to provide the "normal" child with some other equivalent toy or equipment while working with the special needs child. What often happens is parents focus on teaching the special needs child something on the computer and the "normal' child begins to tantrum and resent the special needs child. This can be avoided by having similar alternative equipment or taking turns with the equipment you do purchase for the special needs child.
5. If the "normal" sibling is able to understand the parent can ask him to help teach his brother something. This is useful since they can facilitate even more learning and even run some of the reward programs you have set-up for the special needs child. A general description would be useful of what you are trying to teach his brother. Try to avoid any negative statements about how smart he is and focus on just learning new things. Always praise the "normal" child for helping by saying things like " you are so helpful you taught your brother to sing the alphabet!"
Generally, including the other siblings needs and assistance can promote faster progress for you child. The siblings are part of the family system and the enviorment that the special needs child lives in and can contribute to teaching and progress of your child with special needs. If they are not considered or addressed it can actually slow the learning progress. All family members should be a part of the treatment plan!