Support from Professionals
As a sibling, you might come into contact with a range of professionals. They might be people who are supporting you as an individual (for example, psychologists, GP) or people who are supporting your brother or sister with disability (for example, disability support workers, social workers, physiotherapists, doctors). As a sibling, it is helpful to work with professionals who are keen to understand and respect how you have been impacted by being a brother or sister of a person with disability alongside whatever support role you may choose to play. Depending on your focus, they should be able to assist you to identify your needs, develop self-acceptance and/or strengthen family relationships.
...our feelings matter too, we need to be informed, supported and most of all listened to.
When working with professionals, they should be able to:
- understand the importance of the sibling relationship
- understand that your experiences in childhood and beyond might still have an impact on you and your relationship with your brother/sister with disability
- respect whatever roles you wish to play in the life of your brother or sister with disability and that they cannot assume what role you are willing/able to play
- recognise and respect your important contributions whatever they might be
- listen to what you say and acknowledge that you are a ‘holder of information’ about your brother/sister
- include you in discussions, sharing of information about your brother/sister’s needs and support services
- support your whole family to undertake future planning discussions that take into account the needs of all family members
- assist you to maintain a relationship with your brother/sister alongside your own family or other responsibilities
- support you to develop a stronger relationship with your brother/sister if that is what you wish