Siblings Workshop for 6 – 12 years olds
“There were times at night when I would listen to my mother read to my brother in the next room. I would hear the machinery helping him to breathe and tense at every break in the rhythm. I was not allowed to go into his room at those times. I suppose mum thought she was protecting me. In reality I would curl into a small ball and cry endlessly, wishing myself far away, wishing for mum to read to me, wishing for a time where I could be hugged and wanted around.”
’Tara’, quoted in Strohm, K.E. (2002)
Research indicates that siblings of children with special needs (disability and/or chronic illness) often grow up in a situation of considerable stress, but without the cognitive and emotional maturity to deal with their experiences. On the one hand, a child may feel loving and protective toward their brother or sister. At the same time, they may feel resentment, embarrassment, guilt, sorrow and fear.
Siblings Workshops are designed to provide support for the brothers and sisters of people with special needs, which include physical disability, genetic, learning or developmental disorders, chronic illness and mental health issues.
Siblings get together in a fun and supportive environment to participate in a variety of activities that aim to do the following:
- Provide peer support and validation
- Normalise feelings of loneliness, frustration and worry
- Explore and discuss practical coping strategies
- Develop empathy for their brother or sister and adult carers
- Focus on positive aspects of being a Sibling
- Identify strengths and positive traits in themselves
Our Siblings Workshop is run over 4 hours on a Sunday from 9am to 1pm. It is available upon request and requires a minimum of 5 participants to commence. It is facilitated by our Principal Psychologist Chiu Lau.
For information on commencement dates or to book a complimentary 20 minute phone consultation with our Principal Psychologist to discuss suitability, please call the clinic on 02-9501 0286.