Media: The Massachusetts Sibling Support Network – Supporting Siblings of People with Disabilities

From the recent Shriver Center Spotlight…

Growing up with a brother or sister with a disability–whether the disability is emotional or physical, visible or hidden–is a unique, often challenging, and potentially rewarding experience. Nationwide, adult siblings of people with disabilities report that the sibling experience profoundly influences their childhood and adolescence, and shapes the type of individuals they become.

“Sibling involvement has been expanding among families of people with disabilities for several reasons,” explains Emily Rubin, Director of Sibling Support at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center. First, people with disabilities today have significantly longer life spans due to medical advances and overall improved health, often outliving parents who serve as primary caregivers. Second, since  deinstitutionalization in the 1970s, people with disabilities are living at home longer, creating stronger sibling relationships. Third, state and federal funding options are decreasing, and sibling involvement is a natural outgrowth of cost-saving measures.

Read the rest here…

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