Families are affected when they have a child with disabilities. Parents must learn new skills, deal with new stressors, and find solutions to new challenges. Equally impacted are the siblings.
My daughter was the younger sibling of her brother, Ryan. She was 6 years younger than Ryan, but grew up thinking it was her responsibility to be a caregiver. She would help give him drinks, bites to eat, or attempt to change him. It was never an expectation we placed on Katelyn—just her own sense of duty and love. She was his greatest champion and his best friend.
When Katelyn was 7 years-old, she joined Any Baby Can–San Antonio’s Sibling Support Group.
She loved being a part of this group. The children bonded through their common experiences as brothers and sisters of kids with disabilities. The twice-monthly meetings were very important to Katelyn. She enjoyed the friendships, appreciated shared experiences, and realized that she was not alone. She remained a part of the group until a few months after the death of her brother.
Any Baby Can-SA still has an active Sibling Support program. The program is for siblings ages 6-14 years of age. Groups are broken down by age. They share a meal, do arts and crafts, and have time for group discussions. Each group is led by a trained facilitator—either a licensed professional counselor, social worker, or counseling intern.
Contact Any Baby Can-SA www.anybabycansa.org - at 210-227-0170 for more information.
Registered Sibshops are offered by organizations in the San Antonio area.
Eva’s Heroes sponsors Sib Socials, a group for those 18 years and older who have brothers or sisters with disabilities. Interested persons can contact Eva’s Heroes www.evasheroes.org online or call 210-694-9090 for more information.
The Down Syndrome Association of South Texas offers Sibshops and various times throughout the year. Get more information by contacting DSASTX at 210-349-4372 or emailing [email protected].
Consider a sibling support program for the brothers and sisters of your child with disabilities. After all, the sibling relationship will be the longest lasting relationship in each of their lives.
Learn more about siblings on this website.