Therapeutic Groups Developed For The Unique Concerns Of Siblings Of Special Or High Needs Children
SibSpace groups are designed especially for the sibling who have a brother or sister with physical, social, or emotional issues. They may have been formally diagnosed or are just high needs.
Special needs often create a tremendous amount of strain on the family. Parents may feel drained of time, energy, and emotional resources. Consequently, there is often less left over for the typical sibling.
Siblings share many similar feelings and experiences of their parents as it regards the special needs child. The siblings are not usually as well equipped as adults to cope with the demands and effects of having a special/high needs sibling.
SibSpace was created to help siblings find a healthy place where they can feel understood, have shared experiences, and develop coping skills particular to having a special needs oriented family. SibSpace meetings are fun, informative, interactive, developmentally appropriate groups that provide preventative steps in fostering a healthier experience within the family.
Adult Sibs Speak Up
My sibling was very needy. He would probably be diagnosed on the autistic spectrum today, but that wasn’t really a diagnosis when I was growing up. He could be so rigid so the whole family had to run on his schedule. I was embarassed to have friends over, and I think my parents were, too. Don’t get me wrong, I have very good experiences with my brother, but I have only recently realize how impactful his problems were on who I am today.” – J.L.
I was frequently praised for not make demands, trouble, or drama. I just behaved myself. As an adult, I can look back on my childhood and see that really I was invisible.” – S.M.
Growing up with a sibling with bipolar disorder meant that my home life was unpredictable, chaotic, and lonely. The world seemed to revolve around my siblings behaviors and issues. I felt that there was no one who could understand my home life.” – M.B.
As the youngest child of a single parent family with an older sister who suffered from childhood rheumatoid arthritis and many other chronic illness, my role in the family was that of a caregiver and peacemaker. It never occurred to me to impose my needs on my family. I was never really sure what my needs even were!” – C.M.
My brother had physical disabilities. I remember how proud it made me to help take care of him. I even taught him to do things my parents couldn’t. On the other hand, I remember feeling responsible for him. My parents didn’t put that on me, I just assumed that role.” – L.T.
My parents had little room to deal with my normal childhood experiences as they were completely worn out by my sisters problems. I felt forgotten, depressed, and that I had to be perfect so as to not cause any more work or emotional stress for my parents.” – C.H.