Welcome to the Adult Sibs Page

I just wanted to let you know I love the website and it has been so helpful to me. Reading it has made me feel normal again and all the feelings I have had over all these years have been validated.



NEW!  If you would like to meet up with siblings of people with disability and share experiences and support, go to our page here to find the groups which have recently started

  • Join our SibChat group on Facebook - this is a closed group, i.e., only members can post and non-members will not see any of the posts. It is for adult siblings only and is an excellent way to connect, share experiences and get support from other sibs across Australia.
  • Sign up to our eNewsletter to receive email updates from Siblings Australia.

Every sibling of a person with a disability (includes chronic and mental illnesses) has had a unique experience. For many, being a sibling has brought much joy. For others, there have been considerable personal challenges to overcome. 

Your response to growing up with a brother or sister with disability is as valid as anyone's. Each individual experience will depend on a whole range of factors, including personality and age factors, reactions of others, the level of social support etc. Many siblings have a very active role in the life of their brother or sister with disability, both giving and receiving care and support. Some take on more responsibility as their parents age. Alternatively, for some, the responsibility can be too onerous, causing a sibling to distance themselves from the family as they move into adulthood. This can add to feelings of guilt and isolation, and is a loss for the whole family. 

One of the most valuable realisations for any sibling is that they are not alone; that there are others out there who have felt similar emotions or experienced similar situations. 

The goal of Siblings Australia is to strengthen families. Through this website and our Facebook groups, we hope to create connections between adult siblings, so that you can share both emotional support and practical information about a whole range of issues that concern you and your brother or sister with disability or chronic illness. 

Hopefully young siblings won’t have such a hard time of it as we have had, thanks to things, such as this website, that increase people's understanding.
~Diane, 42~

Further Reading and Information

  • Read about the concerns of siblings
  • Find out about books that have been written about or by other adult siblings 
  • Download a fact sheet for siblings of young people with mental health issues
  • Learn about research about adult siblings including: 1. adult sibling project undertaken by Siblings Australia in 2009. 2. background paper by Siblings Australia leading up to this research and 3. white paper put out by the Sibling Leadership Network in the US.
  • We have been funded by the Sector Development Fund to develop more supports for adult siblings and to help them assist their brother or sister with disability to access the NDIS. The current project includes developing online resources for siblings and face to face support groups.
If you would like to share your thoughts or feelings about being a sibling, contact us with your story. Tell us if you are happy for us to include it on our website. If you would prefer you can use a pseudonym. Also please share with us any advice or words of wisdom you have for younger sibs, for parents or for providers.

When I found this website it was like 'coming home'. I've never understood my feelings as a sibling. Now it makes much more sense.
~Jan, 37~

Other siblings know in a way that no one else does - not parents, not service providers - what it's like to have a sibling with a disability
Adult sibling