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Lutheran Children’s Hospital and Easter Seals Arc Offer Special Classes for Siblings

Sibshops designed for brothers and sisters of children with special health concerns

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Friday, Nov. 15, 2013) – Lutheran Children’s Hospital and Easter Seals Arc of Northeast Indiana work in tandem to offer a fun workshop designed especially for brothers and sisters of children with disabilities or special health concerns. The goal of Sibshops is to provide siblings of children with special needs an opportunity to meet in a relaxed setting to discuss common joys and concerns, to find out how others handle similar situations and to learn more about the implications of their siblings’ special needs.

“Sibshops strengthens participants by empowering them to be themselves,” said Tammy Else, certified child life specialist, Lutheran Children’s Hospital. “It provides an opportunity for siblings to express what they’re feeling and how they fit into the family, and it arms them with tools and resources they can take back to the family. It shines the spotlight on the siblings, encouraging them to interact with and support their peers while learning ways to deal with the challenges they face regularly.”

Sibshops are not therapy, although their effect may be therapeutic for some children. Sibshops focus on the well-being of the family member most likely to have the longest-lasting relationship with a special-needs sibling.

Preregistration is required. Registration and payment should be sent to Sue Christman of Easter Seals ARC, located at 4919 Coldwater Rd., Fort Wayne, IN  46825. The $10 fee covers lunch and materials including a T-shirt. The fee is $5 for returning participants, but it does not include a T-shirt. Scholarships are available.

Each Sibshops session targets a different age group and takes place at the Mad Anthonys Children’s Hope House on the Lutheran Hospital campus. One workshop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is for children ages 7 to 12 years old. An afternoon workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. focuses on older children ages 12 to 15 and has no cost.

Upcoming Sibshops for each age group include:
• November 16, 2013,
• January 18, 2014
• March 15, 2014
• May 17, 2014
• July 19, 2014
• September 20, 2014
• November 15, 2014

More information is available online at www.lutheranchildrenshosp.com, or by calling Sue at 260-456-4534, ext. 271.

Even before the opening of LCH in 1999, Lutheran was already building a reputation regionwide for providing families easy access to specialized pediatric care that had historically only been available in larger metropolitan areas such as Indianapolis and Chicago. Today, LCH teams with 68 pediatricians from across the region and state who practice in 20 areas of pediatric specialty. This “hospital within a hospital” offers an environment filled with imagination and color. The award-winning design of the tree house elevator, specially decorated rooms, hallways and waiting areas invite children and their families to focus on something other than the often unpleasant purpose of their visit. Lutheran Children’s Hospital believes children are special people, not just small adults.

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