During the teen and young adult years, sibs often become much more aware as they begin to realize the long-term supports their sibling with an intellectual and developmental disability may require. Looking ahead to the future, sibs begin to understand that they may play a bigger role as a caregiver in their sibling’s life. Acknowledging that a sib has a lot of added stress as a result of their family life, coupled with extra family time just for them, may help to ease their fear and anxiety about what will happen in the future. Although parents may not want to discuss life after mom and dad are gone, sibs need and want to be included in future planning.
Parents should consider including sibs (age appropriately) in IEP meetings or appointments with lawyers when establishing wills and special need trusts. These future planning meetings allow sibs an opportunity to provide input and learn about the system so that they feel more comfortable and confident in their role as a caregiver.
Meeting Sibs Online: Connecting with other sibs in person can be a wonderful experience, but it is not always practical. The Sibling Support Project created several Facebook groups to aid sibs in supporting one another in a safe, private and parent free environment. Sorry mom and dad, these groups are for sibs only.
Meeting Sibs In Person: