Sibshops: Workshops for Siblings of Children with Special Needs, Revised Edition

Authors: Don Meyer, Patricia F. Vadasy Ph.D.

Format: Paperback, 264 pages, 8.5 x 11.0
ISBN: 9781557667830
Price: $39.95

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When it comes to organizing workshops for siblings of children with special health and developmental needs, Sibshops is just what communities need. The enormously popular Sibshop model has been used in more than 200 communities in eight countries, and the long-awaited revision of this exemplary guide makes it easier than ever to create and run successful, cost-effective sibling support group programs.

Sibshop programs provide opportunities for brothers and sisters of children with special needs to obtain peer support and education within a highly recreational context. Organizers and families appreciate that the workshops take a wellness approach, and the siblings who attend the workshops appreciate that they're fun and engaging. Highly practical and user-friendly, Sibshops is filled with straightforward instructions, photocopiable forms, more than 100 fun games and activities, and sage guidance on how to start, fund, and run a Sibshop.

Essential for agencies that serve families of children with disabilities, social workers, parent-to-parent programs, early intervention programs, developmental disability councils, child life specialists, and parents, this guidebook offers an inexpensive and easy-to-implement solution to addressing siblings' needs in a way everyone can enjoy.


Review: Exceptional Parent
"Parents and teachers will glean valuable insights with or without a Sibshops program."
Review by: Terri Mauro, Parenting Special Needs
"Upbeat, accessible resource . . . A pleasure to read."
Review by: Ann Kaiser, Vanderbilt University
"There is such a great need for positive, engaging ways to support siblings of children with disabilities . . . Sibshops are an innovative strategy for supporting families that has stood the test of time."
Review by: Ann Turnbull, Co-Director, Beach Center on Disability, Ross and Marianna Beach Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas
"I highly recommend this book as a valued resource to enhance sibling quality of life and overall family quality of life—now and for the future."
Review by: Rachel SImon, author of Riding the Bus with My Sister
"A most valuable book! Parents, prepare to gain insights that will help you forever. Facilitators, learn not just the hows of running Sibshops, but also the whys."
Review by: Jane Wysman, Respite Supports Manager, Sibshops Facilitator
"I gratefully acknowledge and thank Don Meyer for identifying the importance of meeting the needs of some very significant family members."
Review by: Paul And Judy Karasik, authors of The Ride Together: A Brother and Sister's Memoir of Autism in the Family
"Every agency working with families with disability should be running Sibshops. Don Meyer and Patricia Vadasy have worked out the logistics and invented terrific programming that you can tailor to fit your audience. Run a Sibshop. Make a difference."
Review by: Christina Rogers, Strong Families Manager, Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana University School of Medicine
"I use the Sibshop book constantly. It is the resource for sibling support . . . I refer to it for every workshop."
Review by: Mary McHugh, Author, Special Siblings: Growing up with Someone with a Disability
"The authors have not left out anything that would be useful in starting one of these highly effective play and discussion groups. Written in a lively, informal, easy-to-understand way, this book is excellent."
Review by: Thomas H. Powell, President, Mount St. Mary's University
"The premier guide for professionals designing and implementing interactive workshops to help siblings confront the special issues they face . . . This new edition will be a tremendous resource for the profession."
Review by: Tom Fish, Director of Social Work and Family Support Services, The Ohio State University Nisonger Center on Disabilities
"A real winner. It is clear, concise, and full of great information. A must read for those interested in serving and supporting siblings of people with special needs of all ages."

Table of Contents

About the Authors
Foreword - Tom Fish

1. What Are Sibshops?

  • Who Attends Sibshops?
  • Who Sponsors Sibshops?
  • Who Runs Sibshops?
  • What Is the Optimal Number of Participants in Sibshops?
  • When Are Sibshops Offered?
  • How Often Are Sibshops Held?
  • What Are the Goals of the Sibshop Model?
  • How Do We Become a Registered Sibshop?

2. Unusual Concerns

  • Overidentification
  • Embarrassment
  • Guilt
  • Isolation, Loneliness, and Loss
  • Resentment
  • Increased Responsibilities
  • Pressure to Achieve

3. Information Needs of Siblings

  • Information Needs According to Age
  • Avoiding Misconceptions about the Condition
  • Providing Brothers and Sisters Needed Information
  • When Siblings Think about the Future
  • Information at Sibshops
  • Adult Siblings

4. Unusual Opportunities

  • Maturity
  • Self-Concept and Social Competence
  • Insight
  • Tolerance
  • Pride
  • Vocational Opportunities
  • Advocacy
  • Loyalty
  • Conclusion

5. Getting Started

  • Cosponsors
  • Participants
  • Financial Issues
  • Facilitators
  • Location
  • Times and Dates
  • Publicity
  • Registration and Budget Management
  • Conclusion

6. Putting It All Together

  • Awareness and Recruitment Activities
  • Planning for Your Very First Sibshop
  • An Annotated Sibshop Schedule
  • The Activity Planning Form
  • Evaluating Your Program
  • Conclusion

7. Introductory and Trickle-In Activities

  • Facetags
  • Group Juggling
  • Human Bingo
  • "I Am" Poem*
  • Favorites I
  • Favorites II
  • Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Two Truths and a Lie*
  • Knots
  • Instant Replay
  • Snowball Fight
  • Go Stand in the Corner!
  • Sibtree*
  • Sibshop Action Art
  • The Name Game
  • True Facts*
  • Telephone
  • The Web
  • When You're Hot, You're Hot!
  • M&M Game*

8. Sibshop Discussion and Peer Support Activities

  • Time Capsules
  • Moccasins
  • Sound-Off
  • Tanabata*
  • Dream Pillows*
  • Superheroes*
  • Discussion Gift*
  • Dear Aunt Blabby
  • The M&M Game*
  • Feelings on a Rope*
  • Three Wishes*
  • Wheel of Feelings Beanbag Toss
  • Same and Different
  • My Sib & Me
  • Strengths and Weaknesses, Jr.
  • Two Bug Activities: That Bugs Me!* and The Love Bug*
  • Graffiti Wall
  • Inside/Outside Bags or Masks*
  • Sibling Slam Book*
  • Open Discussions
  • Conclusion

9. Sibshop Recreational and Food Activities

  • Games—New and Otherwise
  • Presenting Sibshop Recreational Activities
    • Airport*
    • Altoids Versus Wint-O-Greens!*
    • Backlash
    • Balloon Birdseed Beanbags*
    • Balloon Duo
    • Balloon Stomp
    • Beach Ball Bounce*
    • Behavior Modification
    • Blindfold Sort Out*
    • Blob Tag
    • Body Part Musical Chairs*
    • Body Surfing
    • Caterpillar
    • Centipede
    • Commons
    • Dangling Donut Eating Contest
    • Dot's Dot
    • Do You Want to Buy a Duck?*
    • Fingerprint Pictures
    • Fox and Chickens*
    • Hog Call
    • Hug Tag
    • Human Pinball
    • Human Spring
    • Instant Replay
    • Islands
    • Keep the Balloon in the Air*
    • The Lap Game
    • Last Details
    • Last Kid Standing*
    • Lean-Two
    • Mime Rhyme
    • Mouse Trap
    • Muscle Beach*
    • Mutual Monsters
    • Mummy*
    • Nose Toes
    • Pass the Orange
    • Prui
    • Psychic Shake
    • Pushpin Soccer
    • Red-Handed
    • Scrabble Scramble
    • Sightless Sculpture
    • Snowball Fight*
    • Stand-Off
    • Stand Up
    • Tag-O-Rama
    • That's a Wrap!*
    • Trains, Planes, and Automobiles*
    • Triangle Tag
    • Tug of War
    • Ultimate Nerf
    • Undercover Leaders
    • Vampire
    • Whispers!*
    • Wind in the Willow
  • Sample Sibshop Food Activities
  • Conclusion

10. Information Activities, Guest Speakers, and Special Events

  • Written Sources of Information
  • Sibshops as Information Sources

11. Workshops on Sibling Issues for Parents and Service Providers

  • Sibling Panels
  • A Workshop on Sibling Issues
  • Informal Discussions for Parents of Sibshop Participants
  • Other Resources for Parents and Service Providers


Appendix A: The Sibshops Standards of Practice
Appendix B: Books for Young Readers on Siblings and Disability Issues
Appendix C: A Brief Description of the Sibshop Model
Appendix D: What Siblings Would Like Parents and Service Providers to Know
Appendix E: Sample Sibshop Registration Form
Appendix F: Dear Aunt Blabby Letters


* Denotes a new activity or game

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