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Upcoming Workshops for Siblings of Children with Disabilities Announced

Next Sibshops set for May 9 at Lutheran   

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (April 16, 2009) — A unique program that reaches out to the siblings of children with disabilities or special health concerns will be offered three more times during 2009. Sibshops are provided locally through Lutheran Children's Hospital and Easter Seals Arc of Northeast Indiana. The organizations announced today that the program is being expanded to include a wider range of age-specific sessions.

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.

  • The next Sibshops is scheduled for Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lutheran Hospital, lower level, special function rooms 1 and 2 for children ages 7 to 11 and 12 to 16.

Sibshops strengthen participants by empowering them to be themselves. Each session 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. Sibshops shine 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, group or otherwise, 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, and the $10 fee covers lunch, class materials and a T-shirt. Scholarships are available. Please contact Lutheran Children's Hospital at (260) 435-6207 to receive a registration form or for additional information.

Each Sibshops session targets a different age group. Upcoming Sibshops include:

  • May 9 - ages 7 to 11 and 12 to 16
  • Aug. 22 - ages 4 to 6 and 7 to 11
  • Nov. 21 - ages 7 to 11

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