Developing support for siblings of young people with disabilities


Sally Conway
Head of Family Services
Woodman Lane
Clent, Stourbridge
West Midlands DY9 9PT

Donald Meyer, Director
Sibling Support Project
A Kindering Center program
6512 23rd Ave NW, #213
Seattle, WA 98117


In the USA and UK, at least one in ten children and young people have special health, developmental and mental health concerns. Most of these people have typically developing brothers and sisters. As the people who, over the course of their lifetimes together, will be most involved with their siblings with special needs, it is important that typically developing brothers and sisters are involved and empowered in their growing relationship with their sibling. This article discusses the importance of providing relevant support for siblings and recognising, validating and including their unique perspectives. It presents the Sibshop model of sibling support, pioneered and directed by Donald Meyer at the Sibling Support Project in Seattle, USA, followed by Sally Conway's description of Sunsibs, a sibling participation model from Sunfield School in the UK adapted from Sibshops.