Many sibs feel overwhelmed when thinking about their future role as a primary caregiver to their sibling with an intellectual and developmental disability. Financial and legal concerns, how to navigate the system, and housing options are all important topics that adult sibs need help with. Empowering sibs throughout all stages of life will help prepare sibs for their future caregiver role. Talking to adult sibs about a parent’s end of life wishes, and creating an end of life plan (will, special need trust, burial arrangements, etc.), though it may be uncomfortable, can help ease the transition of caregiver role from parent to adult child. Informing adult sibs about organizations and resources the sibs can turn to for help is crucial to ensure sibs have an ongoing support system.
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.
- SibNet: Facebook Group for adult brothers and sisters
- Sibling Leadership Network: A national organization, the mission of the Sibling Leadership Network is to provide siblings of individuals with disabilities the information, support and tools to advocate with their brothers and sisters and to promote the issues important to them and their entire families.
Meeting Sibs In Person:
- SIBS NJ: Supportive Initiatives for Brothers & Sisters is the New Jersey state chapter of the Sibling Leadership Network. SIBS NJ is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the siblings of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health conditions with information and support. Comprised and organized by siblings and sibling supporters, SIBS NJ seeks to help siblings connect with one another and to the resources they need to help them and their siblings with disabilities live full, meaningful lives.
- Thicker Than Water: Essays by Adult Siblings of People with Disabilities, Edited by Don Meyer
- The Sibling Survival Guide: Indispensable Information for Brothers and Sisters of Adults with Disabilities, Edited by Don Meyer and Emily Holl
- Special Siblings by Mary McHugh
- Being the Other One by Kate Strohm
- Riding the Bus with My Sister by Rachel Simon
- Check This Box If You Are Blind by Susan Meyers
- The Ride Together: A Brother and Sister’s Memoir of Autism in the Family by Paul Karasik and Judy Karasik
- How to Be a Sister: A Love Story with a Twist of Autism by Eileen Garvin
- THAT Went Well…Adventures in Caring for My Sister by Terrell Harris Dougan