Sibshops 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. Sibshops reflect a belief that siblings have much to offer one another — if they are given a chance

The Sibshop model intersperses information and discussion activities with new games, cooking activities, and special guests. Peer support is provided within a lively, recreational context that emphasizes a kid’s perspective.

Our first workshop was Saturday. We had five “sibs” attend — of the five, four had brothers with autism. The sibs talked about their brothers’ behavior in public and how that affected them. It was a great outlet for them to share their personal feelings.

The workshop also served as a reminder that as we think of serving the 1 in 150 children diagnosed with autism, millions more are affected in their family relationships.

We need to support them, too.


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  1. locksmith rapper Says:

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    In todays news reporting clever journalists function their very own slant into a story. Bloggers use it promote their works and many just use it for enjoyable or to stay in touch with friends far away.

  3. Amanda Dodds Says:

    I would love to learn more about the adult sibling conference. Can you send me some information?


  4. Harriet Redman Says:

    My congratulations to Easter Seals for getting Sibshops underway in Milwaukee. Up here in the Fox Valley, we’ve been offering Sibshops through the Fox Valley Sibling Support Network for over 10 years and continuously see the benefits to siblings, both as children and as they grow into adulthood. Many of our Sibshop facilitators are former “Sibshoppers” and we love them! Come again to visit us. We’ll be having another Adult Sibling conference April 23, 2009.

  5. Beth Finke Says:

    So glad to hear you’ll be doing a Sibshop in Nebraska. Bob Glowacki wrote another blog post today about the continuing success of Sibshops at Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin — You can take a llook at Bob’s post here:
    Good luck with your program in October!

  6. Kevin Bogus Says:

    Easter Seals of Nebraska – Central Area, is going to be doing a sibling camp this October. I am really encouraged that other programs are having success. May it happen in Nebraska as well!

  7. Amber Mavroff Says:

    We had another successful Sibshop this past weekend, with enrollment increasing! The individuals who are participating seem to truly enjoy themselves while they learn more about their siblings. If I can be a resource, or of any help, please, let me know!

  8. Amber Mavroff Says:

    Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin began facilitating the Sibshops, and they were a blast! The siblings truly enjoyed themselves, as well as the staff! The next one is this Saturday, and we have a whole new set of activities already planned and we are ready to go!

    I really encourage you to look into them if your affiliate or if anyone is interested. Don Meyer (founder), at the Sibling Support Network has been a great support in leading us through this project. I had the opportunity to attend the Fox Valley Sibshop Support Network Conference here is Wisconinin April of 2007, and this is where I was trained to be a faciliator. Both Don at SSN and Harriett at FVSSN are great resources for any questions you may have!

  9. Bob Glowacki Says:

    I think we need to support the entire family. I think our partnership with Autism Society of American can assist parents with information and support. Something like Sibshops, a National model program can help the siblings. our local chapter of ASA, asked us to look into Sibshops and has helped promote it with families.

    If anyone wants more information, feel free to email me.

  10. Jessica Moore Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing about how you support the families of children with autism. Your article was really inspiring and I hope we can start a Sibshop group at Easter Seals Central Texas!

  11. Kathy Patrick Says:

    Hi Bob! At Easter Seals New Jersey we also offer fun sibling weekends through our camp and rec opportunities for individuals with autism and their siblings. Part of the weekend also involves information and discussion activities. We are interested– are you using LCSW’s for that part of the program? Thanks. KP

  12. Lisa Tate Says:

    Wow Bob, this is great. It’s so important that we don’t forget the siblings of children with Autism.

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