Honoring the Longest Life Relationship
For many families, the relationships between typically-developing children and their siblings with Autism is easily lost in the challenging realities they face. It can become especially hard to have your children remain like-minded when Autism can be so rigid. At FPI, we understand that the sibling relationship is most often the longest relationship an individual with Autism will have, lasting up to 70 years or more!
Siblings can find themselves feeling distanced or disconnected from their parents and their peers. 1:1 time with parents is often interrupted by challenging behaviors or specific needs. Quality time outside of the home is frequently sacrificed by the limits and demands that Autism presents to the entire family in public.
Our Sib Club offers siblings aged 10 and up a safe place to meet others who are in similar situations. It will also allow siblings a chance to spend some quality 1:1 time together with their parents. By strategically running Sib Club during our Community Based Outings program, parents are free to spend time with their child while a 1:1 ABA Clinical Associate is with their other loved one(s) at an unrelated event. Sib Club outings typically run quarterly (4 events per year) and always fall on a Sunday. Examples of fun and exciting events include: professional sporting events, music concerts, theater, theme parks, etc. And the Sib ticket is always on us!
Beyond parent/child outings, the Sib Club group will meet monthly during the other 8 months at FPI's offices. During center based meet ups, siblings will enjoy time with each other to hang out, discuss ideas or issues relating to their brothers and/or sisters, and think about the future. A recent survey of adult siblings lists future planning as one of the top concerns they wish that parents had done differently. FPI will also place focus on future planning for parents during parent training sessions held at the center with guest speakers. The goal of Sib Club is to increase the chances of keeping brothers and sisters engaged in the life of their siblings with Autism beyond the days of their parents. Living forever is not a realistic plan for parents; we understand that as much as anyone.