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Young siblings

Children and young people growing up with a disabled brother or sister often get less attention from parents and have more worries and responsibilities than their peers. Many young siblings experience daily challenges in their lives such as public prejudice and finding it hard to get schoolwork done. They also need recognition for the positive aspects of their family lives, such as learning new skills and being supportive of their brothers’ and sisters’ needs.

Direct support for young siblings

We run www.youngsibs.org.uk – an online support and information service for children and young people aged 7-17, who have a brother or sister who is disabled, has special educational needs or a serious long-term condition.

Young siblings can:

  • Get information about disability and conditions, and tips for enjoying life and dealing with feelings.
  • Chat on the safe moderated forum and share experiences and ideas with other young siblings.
  • Get help from our team with sibling issues at home and at school.

It’s great to read about other siblings like me. It means that I don’t feel so alone.

Help for others to support young siblings

Adult siblings

Adult siblings, in particular those with a brother or sister with a lifelong learning disability and/or autism, provide support, advocacy and care for their brothers and sisters, at the same time as juggling support and care for their elderly parents, their own children, and their work. They rarely receive any acknowledgement of their role or expertise, information about service provision, or support for their own needs. As a result many adult siblings experience isolation, reduced wellbeing and negative effects on their work and finances. Many adult siblings just want to enjoy social time with their brother or sister rather than time together being focused on care tasks.

Support for adult siblings

Caring for my brother is very isolating and the responsibility huge. After the support group, I had more energy and an idea of what to try next.

Download Sibs – Information about Sibs services 2018