Welcome to the parent page! Every family is different and not all of the information here will be relevant to everyone. The information here is based on our contact with a large number of siblings, parents and service providers around Australia and overseas. Please use the information via the links in the left menu as a guide for your own family.
Throughout these pages we use the term ‘disability’ to indicate any disability or developmental delay, chronic illness or mental illness.
Siblings Australia provides the following:
- Parent information sessions on supporting your ‘other children’. If you are engaged with the NDIS these can be claimed through a Participant Plan. Parents have found this one-on-one session very useful.
- workshops and webinars for parents on supporting siblings.
- Our Facebook page and enewsletter can keep you up to date with our activities and services.
We believe that siblings of children (and adults) with disability have much to contribute but also need support themselves. We also recognise that it can be difficult juggling the needs of your whole family – and you might be dealing with a range of mixed emotions yourself 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, but they are unlikely to have the understanding and emotional maturity to deal with what is happening around them. 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. There is probably much you are already doing to support siblings and it is hoped that the resources in the left menu and below will give you some new ideas.
- School choices – this might assist you in choosing school(s) for your children
- Tips for young Sibs – a short document for your children to understand they are not alone and learn some ways of coping.
- Sibling Factsheet MI – this was developed for siblings of young people with mental health issues but could be useful for any teen sibling.
Take a look through our other pages too – including books, adult siblings, professionals -share the info with your child’s teacher, GP or other workers, extended family members.
We would love to hear from you too. Please share with us via CONTACT US other ideas on what has been helpful for you in relation to supporting siblings in your family, e.g., particular activities, or books or internet sites. That way, other parents can benefit from your experiences and knowledge.