Siblings of Special Needs Children

Siblings with Special Needs Resources Sibshops acknowledge that being the brother or sister of a person with special needs is for some a good thing, others a not-so-good thing, and for many, somewhere in-between.

The Sibshop model intersperses information and discussion activities with new games (designed to be unique, off-beat, and appealing to a wide ability range), cooking activities, and special guests who may teach participants mime, how to juggle or, in the case of one guest artist who has cerebral palsy, how to paint by holding a toothbrush in your mouth.

Sibshops are as fun and rewarding for the people who host them as they are for the participants. Sibshops seek to provide siblings with opportunities for peer support. Because Sibshops are designed (primarily) for school-age children, peer support is provided within a lively, recreational context that emphasizes a kids’-eye-view.

Rolling Along: The Story of Taylor and His Wheelchair (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Learning Book): Taylor and Tyler are twin brothers and best friends. But the twins are different in one significant way: Taylor has cerebral palsy, while Tyler does not. Through Taylor’s eyes we see how much effort he must expend to strengthen his legs, which are weak. He explains how valuable his new wheelchair is because it helps him maneuver more easily and do the things he want to do, like go to school and play basketball with his brother Tyler.

This full-color picture book series from the nation’s leading rehabilitation center will explain to readers ages 6 and up the needs of children with disabilities. The Learning Books offer valuable insight and inspiration for children with disabilities as well as for their family members and schoolmates. Each book is written from the viewpoint of a real child with a physical disability. The goal of each book is to see into the child’s world, understand the physical challenge the child faces, and learn how an assistive device can empower the child to overcome the limitations posed by his or her disability.

Views from Our Shoes: Growing Up with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs: 45 siblings share their experiences as the brother or sister of someone with a disability. The children whose essays are featured here range from four to eighteen and are the siblings of youngsters with a variety of special needs, including autism, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, ADD, hydrocephalus, visual and hearing impairments, Down and Tourette syndromes.

Out of My Mind: Eleven-year-old Melody is not like most people. She can’t walk. She can’t talk. She can’t write. All because she has cerebral palsy. But she also has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school, but NO ONE knows it. Most people—her teachers, her doctors, her classmates—dismiss her as mentally challenged because she can’t tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by her disability. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.