Family Support Network of WNC

Samantha Kampert and Brianna Smith enjoying ice cream on the last day of the Sibshop series.

Sibshop offers an opportunity for siblings of kids with disabilities to connect. Many agencies serving families of children with a variety of special needs are committed to providing family-centered care and services. Yet, typically, the needs of the siblings of these children are not addressed as the services are not intended for them.

Siblings of kids with disabilities will be in the lives of their brother or sister longer than anyone and share many of the concerns that parents experience, including isolation, a need for information, guilt, concerns about the future and care-giving demands. They also face issues uniquely theirs, such as resentment, peer issues, embarrassment and pressure to achieve. If provided with support and information, they can help their siblings live dignified lives from childhood up until their senior years.

Family Support Network of WNC offers a series to address the issues siblings of kids with disabilities face: the Sibshop series. Janet Smith, mother of Sibshop participant Brianna, says, “Sibshop has allowed my daughter to have more compassion and insight for her sister.” Mother Erica Kampert shares that her daughter Samantha “has learned that she is not the only one, and there are other sibs going through the same issues.” The next Sibshop series will meet Sept. 14, Sept. 21 and Oct. 5 from 2 to 5 p.m. Children ages 8 to 14 years old are invited to attend. To register or for more info: 213-9787.


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