Siblings Problems

We noticed on our Neurofeedback holidays how much the brothers and sisters of children who had special needs congregated together and discussed their various sibs problems.

This holiday was sometimes the first time they had benefited from their sibs problems. Usually they were doing well at school, getting on OK at home but found the attention focus was on

their sib; visits to the school , extra lessons they had to be driven to, special books and sometimes meals and yet the unaffected child who was foing everything right seemed ignored.

So it was good to hear that there is a new online service aims to provide information, advice and support to siblings of children with disabilities and SEN.

YoungSibs, the brainchild of UK charity Sibs, includes a moderated online chat area and a letters section where siblings can receive personalised responses to their questions. It also includes information on disability and illness, and a range of SEN such as autism and cerebral palsy.

More than half a million children and young people in the UK have a brother or sister with a disability or SEN, or who has a life-long serious illness, yet the charity believes that their needs are often overlooked. This can lead to social isolation and difficulties with educational achievement.

Young siblings of disabled children can have more worries and responsibilities than other children of the same age. They often have to take a back seat in families where the main focus is on the care and support of the disabled child. “Young siblings need access to information, support and help with the challenges they face every day growing up in a family with a disabled brother or sister”, says Sibs Chief Executive Monica McCaffrey.

For more information, visit: