Sibshops provide siblings of children with special needs with peer support and information in a lively, recreational setting.
Sibshops are interactive, fun workshops that provide a supportive space for children and youth to connect around the unique experience of growing up with a sibling with special needs and/or mental health struggles, these participants are referred to as Sibs.
Certified Sibshop facilitators host sessions based on the Sibshop model. Our Sibshops include facilitators who bring the special insight of adults who grew up with a sibling with a disability. Sibs aged 8-11 are invited to attend.
Workshops for Siblings of Children with Special Needs and/or Mental Health Struggles
SibShops is a national program for children that have a sibling with special needs and/or mental health struggles including but not limited to: Autism, ADHD/ADD, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, OCD, ODD, Bipolar Disorder, Conduct Disorder, etc. SibShops provide peer support within a safe and supportive environment and allow children a space to share both their joys and concerns with other siblings.
While participating, siblings will have the opportunity to learn about disabilities and mental health, how to celebrate their siblings, and how to manage uncomfortable situations. Our goal is to strengthen the bond between siblings and provide a validating and enjoyable space for all of our SFCC family members.
Stepping Forward Counseling Center’s Sibling Support Groups’ goals include:
- Providing an opportunity to meet others with special needs siblings
- Discussing common joys and concerns
- Learning how others handle situations
- Learning more about the implications of their sibling’s special needs
Sibshops are pedal-to-the-metal events where they will meet other sibs (usually for the first time), have fun, laugh, talk about the good and not-so-good parts of having a sib with special needs, play some great games, learn something about the services their brothers and sister receive, and have some more fun.
Goal 1: Sibshops will provide brothers and sisters of children with special needs an opportunity to meet other siblings in a relaxed, recreational setting.
Goal 2: Sibshops will provide brothers and sisters with opportunities to discuss common joys and concerns with other siblings of children with special needs.
Goal 3: Sibshops will provide siblings with an opportunity to learn how others handle situations commonly experienced by siblings of children with special needs.
Goal 4: Sibshops will provide siblings with an opportunity to learn more about the implications of their sibling’s special needs.
Goal 5: Sibshops will provide parents and other professionals with opportunities to learn more about the concerns and opportunities frequently experienced by brothers and sisters of people with special needs.
Sibshops are for the siblings of children with special needs and/or mental health struggles. Our SibShops are offered for sibs in the 8 – 11-year-old age range.
Claire Miller, ASW, and her certified therapy dog, Winston, Mitch Shaffer, Ph.D., LMFT and other special guests.
The Sibshop model takes a wellness perspective, it can be a therapeutic experience but is not group therapy.
Sibshops acknowledge that most brothers and sisters of people with special needs, like their parents, are doing well, despite the challenges of any special needs or mental health challenges. Consequently, while Sibshop facilitators always keep an eye open for participants who may need additional services.
Cost varies depending on reimbursement by the school, insurance coverage, type of treatment plan, and so one.
WHAT CAN SIBS EXPECT DURING SIBSHOPS?
Sibshops seek to provide sibs with opportunities for peer support. Because Sibshops are designed for school-age children, peer support is provided within a lively, recreational context that emphasizes a kids’-eye view.
- Meet other Sibs (usually for the first time);
- Have fun;
- Talk about the good and not-so-good parts of having a sib with special needs with others who “get it”;
- Play some great games;
- Explore how other Sibs handle sticky situations sometimes faced by their special needs sibling;
- Learn about the services their special needs sibling receives at SFCC; and
- Have some more fun!
Join other kids your age that have siblings with special needs or mental health struggles to share laughs, food, and experiences!
From the Sibs
“Sibshops provided me a space to feel connected to other Sibs who were navigating similar situations as I was with my brother. Until Sibshops I never felt like I had a community that understood what I was experiencing”
“Sibshops created a space where I could be myself, talk about the ups and downs of being a Sib and do fun activities with people who understood what I was going through”
From the Parents
“My daughter benefitted from regular contact with other siblings who understood the things she was experiencing”
“The long-term relationships my daughter made with other Sibs has helped her develop strategies for getting along with her brother with special needs”
“Sibshops gave my daughter a safe space to talk about the challenges of living with a sibling with special needs”
Three locations to serve you
Stepping Forward Counseling Center, LLC has three locations to serve you.
Please contact our offices for questions, applications, programs, and events.
15375 Barranca Parkway Building D
Irvine, CA 92618
Phone: (949) 333-1209
22343 La Palma Ave. Unit 116
Yorba Linda, CA 92887
Phone: (714) 340-0511