Sibling Support GroupsSupport Groups for Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorders affect the lives of all family members. A problem frequently reported to clinicians by siblings is a sense of isolation. An ideal means of combating this isolation is to help the sibling connect with other siblings of children with autism. Sibling groups for children and adolescents provide peer support and information opportunities for brothers and sisters of children with autism, Asperger’s, and Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Children meet peers with similar experiences in a fun and friendly atmosphere, where they can discuss their common joys and concerns. They learn how to handle situations they all face regularly and discuss the implications of having a brother or sister with special needs. This is accomplished through games, activities, crafts and age appropriate discussion. It provides an opportunity for parents and other providers to better understand sibling issues.

While growing up as the sibling of someone with autism can certainly be trying, most siblings cope very well. It is important to remember that while having a sibling with a disability is a challenge to a child, it is not an insurmountable obstacle. Most children handle the challenge effectively, and many of them respond with love, grace and humor far beyond their years.
Sibling Support Groups
Support Groups for Siblings of Children with Special Needs

Disabilities, illness, and mental health issues affect the lives of all family members. A problem frequently reported to clinicians by siblings is a sense of isolation. An ideal means of combating this isolation is to help the sibling connect with other siblings of children with autism. Sibling groups increase the peer support and information opportunities for brothers and sisters of people with special needs and to increase parents’ and providers’ understanding of sibling issues. Children meet peers with similar experiences in a fun and friendly atmosphere, where they can discuss their common joys and concerns. They learn how to handle situations they all face regularly and discuss the implications of having a brother or sister with special needs. This is accomplished through games, activities, crafts and age appropriate discussion.

While growing up as the sibling of someone with special needs can certainly be trying, most siblings cope very well. It is important to remember that while having a sibling with a disability is a challenge to a child, it is not an insurmountable obstacle. Most children handle the challenge effectively, and many of them respond with love, grace and humor far beyond their years.