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For Adult Sibs

We've published two books for--and by--adult siblings of people who have disabilities:

--The Sibling Survival Guide: Indispensable Information for Brothers and Sisters of Adults with Disabilities

--Thicker Than Water: Essays by Adult Siblings of People with Disabilities


The Sibling Survival Guide: Indispensable Information for Brothers and Sisters of Adults with Disabilities

Edited by Don Meyer and Emily Holl


If you're a teenaged or adult brother or sister of someone with a disability, then this book is expressly for you. It offers a sense that you're not alone, tips on how to talk to your parents about plans for your sibling, and a crash course in guardianship, medical & legal issues, and government benefits if you're already caring for your sib.

Edited by experts in the field of disabilities and sibling relationships, The Sibling Survival Guide focuses on the topmost concerns identified in a survey of hundreds of siblings. The chapter authors, experienced siblings and service providers, offer practical information and anecdotes about:

--statistics & research about siblings
--younger siblings' feelings
--impact on your life decisions
--caring for multiple generations
--aging and disability
--taking care of yourself
--getting services & advocacy
--future planning

Praise for The Sibling Survival Guide: Indispensable Information for Brothers and Sisters of Adults with Disabilities:

"If you are looking for absolutely the most up-to-date information of crucial importance to brothers and sisters of people with disabilities, you must add this book to your collection. Don Meyer and Emily Holl, top experts in this field, have carefully researched every source that will answer all your questions about how best to take care of your brother or sister now and in the future."
-Mary McHugh, author, Special Siblings: Growing Up with Someone with a Disability

"Accessible to both teen and adult readers, The Sibling Survival Guide: Indispensable Information for Brothers and Sisters of Adults with Disabilities lives up to its title as a practical, no-nonsense resource. Testimony, insights, and tips from people with disabled siblings fill the pages of this positive-minded, life-affirming guide. Topics range from everyday problems, to relationships and marriage, to legal issues and planning for the future. An absolute 'must-have' for people with disabilities, The Sibling Survival Guide is worthy of the highest recommendation."
-Library Bookwatch, January 2015

"From Rachel Simon's welcoming foreword to Don and Emily's graceful conclusion, this is a volume you'll return to again and again. Because you will trust the voices on every page."
-Judy Karasik, co-author with Paul Karasik of The Ride Together: A Brother and Sister's Memoir of Autism in the Family

"This book is an extremely valuable compendium of information, ideas, and inspiration that not only guides the reader but encourages reflection. How nice it is to have such a realistic and sensitive portrayal of the adult sibling experience."
-Tom Fish, Ph.D., director of Social Work and Family Support Services, The Ohio State University Nisonger Center

"Here it is at last, the book I have been waiting for! This book has information that could be life changing for siblings and the sibs they support. I can only imagine the difference it would have made if my sister and I had had this book in our hands when our mother passed away."
-Nora Fox Handler, sister of three men with intellectual disabilities, sibling advocate, and founding member of SIBS Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters

Order The Sibling Survival Guide


Thicker Than Water: Essays by Adult Siblings of People with Disabilities

Edited by Don Meyer

Offered exclusively as a Kindle edition


Bound by blood, but not always by love, a sibling can be your friend or rival, defender or detractor--sometimes simultaneously! But what's the impact on that bond when one sibling has a disability?

In this thought-provoking essay collection, thirty-nine adult siblings reflect on how their lives have been indelibly shaped by their relationship with a brother or sister with special needs. Edited by Don Meyer, creator of Sibshops and an expert on sibling issues, Thicker Than Water reveals both positive and negative aspects of growing up with someone who might have received the lion's share of his parents attention or who now requires extra support as an adult.

These compelling essays express a diverse range of sibling experiences and attitudes. Contributors range in age from 20 to 70 and have siblings whose disabilities include Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, seizures, visual impairment, fragile-X syndrome, intellectual disability, or mental illness. Several essays demonstrate how experiences vary based on a writer s age and generation. Many older contributors grew up when disabilities were stigmatized; younger contributors can attest to changing attitudes and greater acceptance of people with differences. Some contributors have chosen to work in a disability field or service profession and credit their siblings for influencing their career choices; others have pursued dreams far removed from a disability field.

This absorbing collection offers other siblings the catharsis of discovery and shared experiences. Thicker Than Water provides fascinating reading for siblings, parents, caregivers, and anyone who shares a long-term relationship with a person with special needs or wonders what that experience may be like.

Praise for Thicker Than Water:

If you are a sibling of someone with a disability, this book will spell out words straight from your soul. Here people have written about the most pertinent issues in their sibling-lives, having teased out the questions, offered some tentative answers, but still let their insecurities and their further questions shine through. The authors in this book have written with love and compassion, but also with doubt and fear - and so their words ring true with those who have felt feelings of a similar kind to theirs. As a sibling of someone with a disability myself, I saw notes of myself throughout the essays in this book... every few pages something would ring pertinent and true.  Read this book if you are a sibling, and you will feel recognized and validated. Read this book if you just want to know about siblings of people with disabilities too, because there is so much scope for learning about a multitude of issues within it. Through such a variety of different types of relationships, disabilities, lifestyles and situations, this book gives a look at sibling issues from the inside, and in siblings' own words.
--Amazon reviewer

Written in the first person by adult siblings of persons with disabilities, this book identifies the heartfelt and often challenging concerns of siblings as part of their lives as brothers and sisters of those with special needs. The siblings expressed the fears, concerns, and responsibilities that they face throughout their lives. The book is arranged into vignettes of ordinary and extraordinary people who describe their inner feelings as well as their anger and frustration as they reflect upon their special needs siblings. Filled with humor and joy and indescribable moments of self-reflection, this resource will fill a gap for the often forgotten siblings of those with disabilities. The book truly fills the void for those who have experienced this situation with honesty and openness. Often overlooked in favor of their siblings with special needs, the adult children reflect on what their lives were like growing up as well as the burden of responsibility that they feel they will have to absorb as the current primary caregivers, their parent, will no longer be able to coordinate the care of their special needs siblings. This book is a vital book for special libraries that seek to have a complete collection for parents, family members, educators, and other caregivers of those with disabilities. 
--Carol Ann Attwood, MLS, AHIP, MPH, RN,C, Patient Health and Education Library, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Scottsdale, AZ

Sibshops and listservs are great ways for brothers and sisters to connect and share their experiences about growing up with a sibling with special needs. However, if you want to explore another avenue of support, then Thicker than Water may be ‘just what the doctor prescribed.’ Don Meyer, director of the Sibling Support Project, has edited this collection of essays by 39 adult siblings of people with disabilities, illness and other special needs.  Adult siblings share heartwarming, revealing glimpses into their lives that will make you laugh and cry. If you have a brother or sister with special needs, and do not feel supported, you will realize you are not alone in the multitude of often-conflicting emotions brothers and sisters experience, even as adults, when they have a sibling with special needs. And, if you do not have a brother or sister of with special needs, this book will give you new insight into the issues your friends face, and the emotions they experience, while trying to find a balance between responsibilities to their sibling and their own families. 
--Beth Dworetzky, Federation for Children with Special Needs

Order Thicker than Water


Learn more about our books for young brothers and sisters.

Learn more about the Sibshop curriculum.

Join Us At One of Our Workshops or Training Events
The only way to become a first-generation Sibshop facilitator is to attend a two-day Sibshop training.

Even if you don't want to  become a Sibshop facilitator, you can join us for the first day for a lively and rewarding discussion of sibs' issues across the lifespan. 

Please know:
Registration costs are determined by the agencies hosting the workshops and trainings.  For information and to register, please contact these agencies directly. 

Below you'll find dates for upcoming Sibshop facilitator trainings and other sibling workshops.  If you'd like to discuss hosting a training in your community, please drop us a line at