Teen & Young Adult Sibs
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.
- SibTeen: for teen brothers and sisters.
- Sib20: for young adult sibs, 18 to early thirties.
- 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.
- The Sibling Slam Book: What It's Really Like To Have A Brother Or Sister With Special Needs, By Don Meyer, David Gallagher
- Are You Alone on Purpose?, By Nancy Werlin
- Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
- Tru Confessions by Janet Tashjian
- Rules by Cynthia Lord
- Riding the Bus with My Sister, By Rachel Simon
- Being the Other One: Growing Up with a Brother or Sister Who Has Special Needs, By Kate Strohm
- Life as an Autism Sibling: A Guide for Teens
- Brothers, Sisters, and Autism: A Parent’s Guide
- Welcome to Adventures From My World! (comic book)