What is Sibshop?
Sibshop is a place for brothers and sisters of children with disabilities to get together and have fun. Along the way, they get to talk about the joys and challenges of life, as well as learn a little more about their sibling’s special needs.
Over 20 years ago, my son, Greg (now 34) was part of the original Sibshop at the Autism Alliance. As a mom, I was excited that he would have the opportunity to meet other siblings of children with autism. I am sure that before this group, as far as he knew, he was the only one in the world who had a sister who may have looked like everyone else in the neighborhood, but definitely didn’t act like everyone else. At the time, I’m not even sure that we had given it a name for him. Kate was newly diagnosed, and in 1993 there wasn’t a lot of mainstream talk about autism. For Greg, this was a fun place to go. It was a place to run around and play silly games and talk about things in a safe place.
Each year, we meet five times during the school year at local venues. One example may be at a bowling alley. Upon arrival, children will complete an activity to get to know one another, do a little bowling, have a pizza lunch, engage in some Sibshop activities, spend time in the arcade, and then get back together for a closing activity. Activities will help them to talk in a fun way about the ups and downs of having a sibling with autism -- and to learn they are not alone in how they feel. To be notified about future events, please sign up for the Autism Alliance newsletter or check out our events calendar.
I am excited to be facilitating these get-togethers along with Trish Williams, a long-time facilitator and James Hubbard, an adult sibling of a brother with autism, and a former Sibshop participant! Both Trish and James are educators.
For more information please call us at 508-652-9900 or email AutismAlliance@advocates.org
Come and join us!!!