Sibling Resources


TABLE OF CONTENTS – SIBLING RESOURCES PAGE

  • Sib Share – A Local Meet-up of Adult Siblings
  • Sibling Organizations and Resources
  • Books by Siblings (available from the lending library)
  • Our Message to You: About Us and How to Contact Us 



Sib Share – A Local Meet-up of Adult Siblings

Sib Share is an informal monthly gathering (fall through June) of adult siblings from Windsor and Essex County.  As siblings we believe our experiences and perspectives are unique to us, and also different from our parents at times. We appreciate meeting other siblings who understand ‘what it’s like’, and to have the opportunity to get-together to chat about all things related to being a sister or brother of someone with a disability. We gather (virtually or in person depending on the circumstances) to talk, listen, learn, laugh, share experiences, ideas and resources.  During the first 5 or 10 minutes of each gathering, after greeting each other, we share a new resource or piece of information on topics that siblings have identified as important. Following that we have an open and informal discussion on other things – whatever is on our minds! 

Our meet-ups are held the second Thursday of the month from 7 to 8 pm. Meeting dates from Fall 2022 to Summer 2023 are as follows:  October 13, November 10, and December 8, 2022;  January 12, February 9, March 9, April 13, May 11, and June 9, 2023.

We encourage sib-in-laws and sibling figures at various stages of life – cousins, aunts, uncles, spouses, others – to join us as we talk about what it means to support our family members who are living with disabilities.  We welcome first-timers to join us for one of our gatherings just to check things out. There is no requirement for people to attend every month – just whenever it works!

There are good resources available for younger siblings and their families, and/or links to resources and organizations.  Some of that is available below.  However, we do not host a sibling support group for siblings under 18 years of age.

To learn more email us with any questions you have about our adult sibling meet-ups, available resources on topics that may interest you, or how you can borrow from the lending library. One of our sibling leaders will get back to you. Note: You will need to cut and paste our email address into your email.  Our confidential email address is: sibgroup@windsoressexfamnet.ca


Sibling Organizations and Resources

Note: The headings below are the links to these organizations. 

Siblings Canada

  • Siblings Canada (formerly The Sibling Collaborative) recognizes that while our experiences as siblings are diverse and profound, our perspectives, needs and ideas are often overlooked. We exist to ensure that Canadian siblings of people with disabilities are recognized, valued and supported.
  • Siblings Canada Infographic: Over 350 siblings from across Canada participated in an on-line survey in 2021 about the experiences and needs of adult siblings when it comes to supporting the financial and overall well-being of their siblings with disabilities. Click on the infographic title to see the highlights learned. 

The Sibling Leadership Network, United States (USA)

  • We are a national non-profit whose mission is to provide siblings of individuals with disabilities the information, support and tools to advocate with their brothers and sisters and to promote the issues important to them and their entire families.

Research and Resources for Siblings with Eric Goll

  • Good Things in Life podcast #019 – an interview by Genia Stephens with Eric Goll 

Siblings: Citizens with a Cause  (youth, ages 14 – 29)

A group of  sibling advocates with a vision for a more inclusive Canada. The focus of this group is youth, ages 14 – 29, who have a sibling living with a disability. Check out the report below with recommendations to government and also check out their advocacy guidebook.

The Sibling Support Project 

“The Sibling Support Project is a national program (in the United States) dedicated to the life-long and ever-changing concerns of millions of brothers and sisters of people with special health, developmental, and mental health needs.” Check out the videos on their home page and more by clicking the title of this section.  The Sibling Support Project is known for a number of initiatives including Sibshops, which are “lively events for school-age siblings of kids with special needs. More than 500 Sibshops exist throughout the US and around the world.” Other Sibling Support Project initiatives include such things as: online communities for brothers and sisters; books and papers they have published; and training. To learn more click here About the Sibling Support Project 2021, and read the one-pager from which the information above was adapted.  

Excellent and informative PAPERS by the Sibling Support Project including some good information about younger siblings can be found at the PAPERS button on this page: https://siblingsupport.org/publications/




Books by Siblings

Check out the books below. They are all available from the Lending Library at Windsor-Essex Family Network.  BORROWING BOOKS: If you are interested in borrowing any  books, please email us. Arrangements can be made for picking up books at the main doors of the building where the ‘Family Network’ offices are located, 7025 Enterprise Way, Windsor.

Riding the Bus with My Sister,
A True Life Journey

by Rachel Simon

Rachel Simon’s sister Beth is a spirited woman who lives intensely and often joyfully. Beth, who has an intellectual disability, spends her days riding the buses in her unnamed Pennsylvania city. The drivers, a lively group, are her mentors; her fellow passengers are her community. One day, Beth asks Rachel to accompany her on the buses for an entire year. This wise, funny, deeply affecting true story is the chronicle of that remarkable time. Note: Riding the Bus with My Sister was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie starring Rosie O’Donnell and Andie McDowell, and directed by Anjelica Huston.

Author’s website:  https://www.rachelsimon.com/


The Sibling Slam Book: What it’s Really Like to Have a Brother or Sister with Special Needs

Edited by Don Meyer

Give teenagers a chance to say what’s on their minds, and you might be surprised by what you hear. That’s exactly what Don Meyer, creator of Sibshops and author of Views from Our Shoes did when he invited together a group of 80 teenagers, from all over the United States and abroad, to talk about what it’s like to have a brother or sister with special needs. Their unedited words are found in The Sibling Slam Book, a brutally honest, non-politically correct look at the lives, experiences, and opinions of siblings without disabilities

Link to the book: https://www.abebooks.com/9781890627522/Sibling-Slam-Book-What-Brother-1890627526/plp

Special Note: Emma Fialka-Feldman (daughter of Janice Fialka and Richard Feldman, sister of Micah Fialka-Feldman, long-time friends of Windsor-Essex Family Network) is mentioned in the book. You can visit Emma’s blog here: http://emmaff.blogspot.com/.


Being the Other One: Growing Up with a Brother or Sister who has Special Needs

by Kate Strohm

Being the Other One is based on the author’s own experience (as a sibling of a sister with cerebral palsy) and on extensive interviews she conducted with siblings of all ages. In clear and compassionate terms, Strohm explores the often secret feelings of siblings and offers valuable strategies for coping with the challenges they face.

Link to the book: https://www.shambhala.com/being-the-other-one.html


Nothing Special: The Mostly True, Sometimes Funny Tales of Two Sisters

by Diane Bilyak


A Memoir about Disability and Siblinghood. . . Nothing Special is a disarmingly candid tale of two sisters growing up in the 1970s in rural Connecticut. Older sister Chris, who has Down syndrome, is an extrovert with a knack for getting what she wants, while the author, her younger, typically developing “Irish twin,” shoulders the burdens and grief of her parents, especially their father’s alcoholism . . . . Poet and disability advocate Dianne Bilyak strikes a rare balance between poignant and hilarious as she paints a compassionate and critical real-world picture of their lives. They struggle, separately and together, with the tension between dependence and independence, the complexities of giving versus receiving, the pressure to live as others expect, and in the end, the wonderful liberation of self-acceptance.

Author website: http://diannebilyak.com/


OUR MESSAGE TO YOU

WHO WE ARE & HOW TO CONTACT US 

ABOUT US, WHO WE ARE: We are siblings who wanted to start connecting with others. We have been attending various virtual conferences and learning events put on by other sibling groups over the last two years.  We did this to learn more about sibling meet-ups and issues facing siblings like us. It has led to connections with other siblings – locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. We have been amazed at the strength of the siblings we have met, the common realities we all face, and the wonderful resources available.  It is our hope to share some of our knowledge with other siblings, and also learn from each other in the Sib Share meet-ups.  It has been an honour charting this pathway together. We look forward to making more connections locally and beyond….. Sincerely,  Heather, Catherine and Kyla 

HOW TO CONTACT US:  As sibling leaders and volunteers, there are two ways to contact us: 

  • Email us by copying this email address:  sibgroup@windsoressexfamnet.ca
  • Phone and leave us a voice mail at 519-974-1008. (Windsor-Essex Family Network’s phone number).  Your name and phone number will be provided to us and one of us will call you back.