What are Sibshops? For the adults who run them and the agencies that sponsor them, Sibshops are evidence of their loving concern for the family member who will have the longest-lasting relationship with a person who has a disability. However, for the kids who attend them, Sibshops are pedal-to-the-metal events where they will meet other sibs (usually for the first time), have fun, laugh, talk about the good and no-so-good parts of having a sib with special needs, play some great games, learn something about the services their brothers and sisters receive, and have some more fun.
These are opportunities for brothers and sisters of children with special health and developmental needs to obtain peer support and education within a recreational context. Throughout their lives, brothers and sisters will share many – if not most of the same concerns that parents of children with special needs experience, as well as issues that are uniquely theirs.
Are Sibshops a form of therapy? Sibshops maybe “therapeutic” for kids to attend, but they’re not therapy. Sibshops takes a wellness perspective. They’re a celebration of the many lifelong contributions made by brothers and sisters of people with special health and developmental needs.