A number of organizations and individuals in Arkansas are pooling their time and resources in order to create a state-wide Sibshop network. It is their hope to model the state’s Sibshop network after the incredibly successful program approach developed by Don Meyer. What is a Sibshop you ask? A Sibshop is best described as ‘a program which provides opportunities for brothers and sisters of children with special healthcare needs to obtain peer support and education within a recreational setting.’
To quote further from Don Meyer’s book Sibshops, Revised Edition, “Sibshops are lively, pedal-to-the-metal celebrations of the many contributions made by sisters and brothers of kids with special needs. Sibshops acknowledge that being the brother or sister of a person with special needs is for some a good thing, for others a not-so-good thing, and for many something in between. They reflect a belief that sisters and brothers have much to offer one another…if they are given a chance. The Sibshop model intersperses information and discussion activities with new games (designed to be unique, offbeat, and appealing to a wide ability range), cooking and craft activities, and special guests who may teach participants mime, how to juggle, or, in the case of one guest artist who has cerebral palsy, how to paint by holding a toothbrush in your mouth. Sibshops are as fun and rewarding for the people who host them as they are for the participants.”
A Sibshop training event with Don Meyer is currently scheduled for April 20-21, 2012. The training event will be held at the Comfort Inn in downtown Little Rock at 707 Interstate 30. We are currently looking for organizations and individuals to sponsor a Sibshop in their area. We are also seeking out energetic and enthusiastic people to run the Sibshops. Finally, we are looking to reach out and connect with siblings that could benefit from attending Sibshop activities. Sibshops are not just for children, but also for siblings of adults with special health care needs as well.
We are very excited about the potential positive impact that this new Sibshop network will have on families in Arkansas. We would love for you to be a part of this project. If you have any questions or would like to find out more information about the upcoming training event, please contact Judy Young with Partners for Inclusive Communities at UAMS at 501-682-9900 or 800-342-2923 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff of the Northwest Arkansas Community Parent Resource Center (including original content as well as curated links to various authors around the web.)