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Brothers and Sisters of Children with Special Needs: Unusual Concerns; Unusual Opportunities Presenter: Don Meyer Director, Sibling Support Project.

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Presentation on theme: "Brothers and Sisters of Children with Special Needs: Unusual Concerns; Unusual Opportunities Presenter: Don Meyer Director, Sibling Support Project."— Presentation transcript:

1 Brothers and Sisters of Children with Special Needs: Unusual Concerns; Unusual Opportunities Presenter: Don Meyer Director, Sibling Support Project

2 Why Brothers and Sisters are too important to ignore A siblings experiences and feelings of having a brother or sister with special needs, parallel their parents experiences and feelings. Brothers and sisters will most likely have the longest lasting relationship with their sibling, even longer than their parents. Nobody spends more time, over the long run, with the sibling who has special needs, than their brother or sister. No child, even in an inclusive classroom setting, will have a greater impact on a siblings social development than their typical brother and sister.

3 Resources for Brothers and Sisters of children with special needs Sibling Support Project Don Meyer, Director – Sibshops—peer support workshop that focuses on peer to peer support for siblings of children with special needs. – Sibnet—Listserve for adult siblings of people with special needs. listserv listserv

4 Today’s Objectives: Help parents, siblings and service providers learn about the concerns that siblings of children with disabilities experience Learn what clinicians and siblings themselves have to say about specific issues Discuss the implications for parents and service providers

5 Siblings’ Unique Concerns OveridentificationFuture Concerns EmbarrassmentResentment GuiltIncreased care giving IsolationPressure to Achieve Need for Information

6 Siblings Unique Opportunities MaturityVocation InsightPride ToleranceInspiration HumorAppreciation KnowledgeLoyalty Advocacy

7 How to minimize concerns & maximize opportunities 1.Provide siblings with age appropriate information. 2.Provide siblings with opportunities to meet other siblings of kids with special needs. 3.Encourage good communication with typically developing children. 4.Encourage parents to set aside special time to spend with the typically developing sibling.

8 How to minimize concerns & maximize opportunities cont. 5.Learn more about life as a sibling. 6.Encourage parents to reassure their children by making plans for siblings future. 7.Remember that the single strongest factor affecting a siblings interpretation of disability is the parents’ interpretation of disability.

9 Thank you Don Meyer, Director Sibling Support Project


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