JF&CS and Wayland Youth and Family Services hosted our second Sibshops series this past year. These monthly sessions allow siblings (ages 8-12) of kids with disabilities to meet other kids who have similar experiences. The group consisted of seven participants and met eight times on Sunday afternoons at JF&CS Headquarters in Waltham. Sibshops recognizes that the sibling relationship will likely be the longest lasting relationship for the individual with a disability and that siblings and their concerns cannot be ignored.
The Sibshops model encourages high energy, action-packed sessions that recognize and celebrate the contributions and experiences of the siblings of children with special needs. Sibshops sessions consist of a mix of lively games, crafts, field trips (Launch Trampoline Park, Kimball Farms, and mini golf to name a few!), and discussion-based activities. Peer support and discussion are common themes woven throughout the Sibshops model. Often that support is unspoken, with participants taking comfort in knowing that they are among others who have had similar experiences.