Siblings Rule: Siblings make a difference

Employment is one of the highest impact ways that the dynamic changes for all of us. Increasing employment for people with disabilities has long been a target by self-advocates, families, and professionals in the field. Employment is good for people with disabilities, but it can also have a impact on sibling relationships. Employment isn’t just good for people with disabilities, it is good for their siblings as well, allowing more opportunities for the give and take relationships we expect from our sibling relationships.

Over the following weeks, in honor of National Siblings Day on April 10, we are rolling out a series of PSAs entitled “Siblings Rule” to motivate siblings to make a meaningful difference to people with disabilities.

-John

Read the rest and stay tuned here…

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One Response to Siblings Rule: Siblings make a difference

  1. Cassie says:

    Really important point, John – that employment for the disabled sibling helps the siblings also, because they can have more of the give and take relationship desired.

    I’ve found that experience a huge help to me, giving me motivation to continue supports for him. In my brother’s early adult years, I focused on ensuring supports for his work options, and his residential care also supported them. I also worked to help prevent glitches that could quickly derail many work opportunities or programs – teaching him to listen, not get defensively belligerent, and I watched to follow up and resolve issues if I saw him get discouraged and begin to quietly drop out.

    It was my goal to help him stay somewhere long enough, so the folks there could get to know him, and it worked in several settings, and those routines did indeed become a source of give and take I enjoyed with him. I did not have to worry about him as much when he was engaged, inspired, and ongoing programs were coaching and motivating him. Actually, I learned the value to him and to me, of his participation in ongoing routines outside his home – so I worked hard to get him started and then pay attention at the start of each school term in his Special Ed Adult Ed classes. When he could no longer attend those, I hired someone to provide an outside hobby, a local kayak company took him out monthly.

    Having his own challenging activities and support people and coaches, gave him a life separate from my care, even if it might sometimes sound in the way I speak as if I was “hovering” – in fact, I tried to “hover” at pivotal points, to get him set up and connected so he could then continue on his own.