National Sibling Stories
WHY ARE SIBLINGS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES IMPORTANT?
- Siblings often have the longest-lasting familial relationships.
- Many of the estimated 6.5 million individuals with developmental disabilities (I/DD) in the United States have brothers and sisters.
- Siblings often become the next generation of caregivers when parents are unable to provide care. Frequently, the oldest female sibling becomes the caregiver.
- Most siblings anticipate fulfilling greater supportive and caregiving roles.
- The peer nature of the relationship makes siblings uniquely positioned to support their brothers and sisters with disabilities to lead self-determined lives. This support can include many areas such as employment, voting, transportation, relationships and sexuality, healthcare, housing supports, and more.
- Even though siblings have unique roles and are likely future caregivers, the needs and perspectives of siblings are often overlooked. By addressing the needs of siblings, their brothers and sisters with disabilities will have better outcomes.
- Adult siblings are called the “club sandwich generation” because they often juggle the caregiving of their aging parents, their own children, as well as their brothers and sisters with disabilities.
- While support programs and services have been developed for individuals with I/DD and their parents, supports for siblings have been limited.
- There is a specific need for information on future planning. Future planning programs should include both the siblings with and without disabilities in the entire process.
Please download this Sibling Day Fact Sheet (En Español) to learn more about the important role of siblings and feel free to share it with friends and colleagues. Find out more about the annual National Siblings Day here!
SIBLING STORIES FROM OUR NETWORK
- From Meghan Burke, SLN Research Committee Co-Chair and Assistant Professor of Special Education at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
- A Self-Advocate’s Perspective
- MASTER WOODY by Ann Talman
- Kaitlin’s Sibling Story for Down Syndrome Awareness Month 2020
- Mental Health Crossroads Podcast Interview with SLN’s Emma Shouse Garton
FROM OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL
SLN INTERNATIONAL SIBLING STORIES
MORE SIBLING STORIES
Autism Spectrum News’ 50th issue is all about sibs! Find 20+ articles about sibling stories, resources and more in this amazing sibling issue!