Welcome to the
It is wonderful that you are thinking about the needs of your children who are siblings of a child with disability. Like you, they will have their own feelings and responses to their family member's disability. There is probably much you are already doing to support them and it is hoped the resources here will give you some new ideas to help you understand and support their reactions and needs. Equally you could share the information with other parents, your extended family and friends, your child(ren)'s school, GP and any disability or health workers you come across that you feel could benefit from the information to better support your family.
NB We are now registered with the NDIS in SA and NSW (other States to follow) to provide services including Parent Consultations on supporting your 'other' children - see flyer in right hand column
Throughout these pages we use the term 'disability' to indicate any disability or developmental delay, chronic illness or mental illness.
As a parent of a child with a disability or other chronic condition, it can be difficult juggling the needs of all members of your family. You might be dealing with a range of mixed emotions about the changes that have occurred in your family. It is very likely that the brothers and sisters of your child with disability will also have a mix of feelings and experiences. They may not have the understanding and emotional maturity to deal with what is happening around them. But support can make all the difference.
The disability is only one factor in how your family functions. If you are able to communicate effectively and support each other, you will be more able to manage the challenges together.
Every family is different and not all of the information here will be relevant to everyone. Please just use the information below as as a guide for your own family.
The information here is based on our contact with a large number of siblings, parents and service providers around Australia and overseas. But we would love to hear from you too. Please share with us other ideas on what has been helpful for you in relation to supporting siblings in your family, eg, particular activities, or books or internet sites. That way, other parents can benefit from your experiences and knowledge. Also, if you have other comments please contact us
Siblings Australia works with families who have a child with disability or illness. It also works with professionals to improve the services available for families and, in particular, siblings. We have run many workshops
for parents on supporting siblings. If you would like more information about these please contact us
. We realise you are already needing to advocate for your child with disability but, if you get the chance, please try to raise awareness of the needs of siblings too. Sibling support benefits everyone.