Sibshops help brothers and sisters with autism

You might remember the post I published last February about Sibshops and how they support families with autism.

One of the new programs we, at Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin, are offering in the Milwaukee area is called “Sibshops.” Sibshops were developed by the Sibling Support Project in Seattle and are used throughout the country. The workshops recognize the many contributions made by brothers and sisters of kids with special needs.

We just received surveys back after one of our latest Sibshops. This particular session was dominated by siblings who had brothers with Autism. The Sibshop had very positive ratings. One response from the survey came from a 10 year old girl who attended our Sibshop, and it especially struck a chord with me.

Question: Is there something you want to know that we could learn during a Sibshop?

“Why our brothers have Autism?”

Her response to our survey question reminds me again of how important our services are for families living with Autism. Families have to live with that question “why” everyday.
Unfortunately, we don’t have an answer. We do provide services that can help, but we can’t always answer the “why.” Some of that question begs the eternal question men and women have: why do bad things happen to good people? Or why does any malady strike an innocent child?

I don’t have answers to those questions; I only hope our services can help. And I hope we can create a network and a community that respects the challenges families who have children with Autism or any disability face. And that our community provides the love and support our families need. We must remember these boys are our brothers. Their sisters are our sisters, and they need us, too. A Sibshop is one avenue we can take to make a difference.


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