News and Notes from The Johnson Center

Sibling Support Resources

JCCHD | Fri, March 01, 2013 | [Community][Events][Sibling Spotlight]

Running Siblings

Our most recent Sib Connections group was a great success.  The sessions were packed with valuable learning activities designed to help kids understand autism, navigate family and peer situations, and add to their coping skills. One of the highlights was the summer Sib Camp’s coping tree. The tree “grew” as our siblings added leaf after leaf of creative coping activities.

Since the needs of siblings are getting more attention, there are now more resources than ever. Here are a few helpful sibling-support resources:


Siblings of Children with Autism: A Guide for Families

by Sandra Harris and Beth Glassberg
This book provides a thorough overview of the issues that siblings often face.  Incorporating research and the author’s own experiences, it gives practical advice that families can use. The book addresses important topics such as how to explain autism to your child, help siblings share their feelings, balance family needs, and address the unique needs of adult siblings.

Siblings: The Autism Spectrum Through our Eyes

edited by Jane Johnson and Anne Van Rensselaer
This is a special book written for siblings by siblings. Siblings of all ages share their own experiences of what it has been like to have a brother or sister with autism, including the things that make their relationships special, the challenges, and the fun times.

My Brother is Different: A Sibling’s Guide to Coping with Autism; A Parent’s Guide to Help their Children Cope with an Autistic Sibling

by Barbara Morvay
With three books in one, this book is a great resource. Part 1 is a guide for parents, part II is for siblings, and part III provides positive affirmations and coping tips.  The book is geared towards elementary-age children.

On-line resources:
Sibling Support Project.
The Sibling Support Project is a resource designed for children who have brothers or sisters with health, developmental, or mental health concerns. The project publishes the Sibshops curriculum, which is designed for siblings of children with special needs; it includes educational activities, fun games, and sharing activities. The website offers information about the program, how siblings can connect with other siblings, how to find a Sibshops program near you, and other resources.

Autism Speaks Sibling Toolkit: A sibling’s guide to autism.
This guide is designed for siblings ages 6-12 years. The toolkit is written for both siblings and parents to review what autism means, possible reactions to a brother’s or sister’s diagnosis, and common feelings that might be experienced., search “sibling support toolkit.”

These are just a few of many resources out there. If you need help finding more, feel free to contact our office; all of the titles included here are in our lending library. Our spring Sib Connections group will be starting in April; click here or email us to learn more about attending. We would love to have your child join our group, and they won’t want to miss it!