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For Young Sibs

We've published three books for young brothers and sisters:
 

--Views from Our Shoes: Growing up with a brother or sister with special needs

--The Sibling Slam Book: What it is really like to have a brother or sister with special needs

--Living with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs: A book for sibs

 

Views from Our Shoes

Views from Our Shoes: Growing up with a brother or sister with special needs

Edited by Don Meyer


"I can’t imagine having a plain old sister," writes ten-year-old Ryan Clearwater. He is one of 45 siblings in Views from Our Shoes who share their experience as the brother or sister of someone with a disability. The kids whose essays are featured range in age from four to eighteen and are the siblings of youngsters with a variety of special needs including autism, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, chronic health conditions, attention deficit disorder, hydrocephalus, visual and hearing impairments, Down syndrome, Prader-Willi and Tourette's syndrome. Their personal tales introduce young siblings to others like then, perhaps for the first time, and allow them to compare experiences. A glossary of disabilities provides easy-to-understand definitions of many of the conditions covered.

Praise for Views from Our Shoes:


"Don Meyer has once again hit the sibling nail on the head. This book clearly speaks to siblings— many of whom have never met another kid with a brother or sister with special needs—letting them know they are not alone, that other kids have had similar experiences, had their worries, felt their joy, and successfully met their challenges. Parents will have much to gain by reading the essays as well. Views from Our Shoes is such a welcome addition to the growing resources and support for families with special needs. I could not recommend it any more highly."
–Debra Lobato, Ph.D., Author of Brothers, Sisters, and Special Needs: Information and Activities for Helping Young Siblings of Children with Chronic Illnesses and Developmental Disabilities and Psychologist, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Behavior, Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University Program in Medicine

"I didn’t think that I had so much in common with other sibs like me—like getting mad at your sibling, and that other kids are embarrassed sometimes in public and around their friends. I also didn’t know that so many kids had siblings with disabilities. Sometimes I thought I was the only one in the world. I also found out that other kids feel ignored a lot, too."
--Ryan Medlen, age 11, has a brother with Down syndrome

"Although the number of books about disabled children has grown steadily, not many nonfiction books explore the feelings of a disabled child's brother or sister. These unpretentious, honest snippets, contributed by 45 children ranging in age from 4 ("My Mommy and Daddy told me that Nicole was born very early and her brain got hurt") to 18, seek to fill that gap. In talking about their sibs and their feelings, the writers admit to embarrassment ("I'm sure glad he doesn't go to my school…if they find out that he's my brother, they'd laugh"), anger, and jealousy. But at the same time, they show how protective and loving and surprisingly wise they are when it comes to getting along in a family that is different. Black-and-white sketches are scattered through the text, and a glossary of medical conditions and a helpful list of support sources are appended."
--Stephanie Zvirin, Booklist

Order Views from Our Shoes
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The Sibling Slam Book: What it is really like to have a brother or sister with special needs

Edited by Don Meyer


Give teenagers a chance to say what’s on their minds, and you might be surprised by what you hear. That’s exactly what Don Meyer (creator of Sibshops and author of Views from Our Shoes) did when he invited together a group of 80 teenagers, from all over the United States and abroad, to talk about what it’s like to have a brother or sister with special needs. Their unedited words are found in The Sibling Slam Book, an honest, non-PC look at the lives, experiences, and opinions of siblings without disabilities.

Formatted like the slam books passed around in many junior high and high schools, this one poses a series of 50 personal questions along the lines of:

•    “What should we know about you?”
•    “What do you tell your friends about your sib’s disability?”
•    “What’s the weirdest question you have ever been asked about your sib?”
•    “If you could change one thing about your sib (or your sib’s disability) what would it be?”
•    “What annoys you most about how people treat your sib?”

The Sibling Slam Book doesn’t “slam” in the traditional sense of the word.  The tone and point-of-view of the answers are all over the map. Some answers are assuredly positive, a few are strikingly negative, but most reflect the complex and conflicted mix of emotions that come with the territory. Whether they read it cover to cover or sample it at random, teenagers will surely find common ground among these pages and reassurance that they are not alone. It is a book that parents, friends, and counselors can feel confident recommending to any teenager with a brother or sister with a disability.

Praise for The Sibling Slam Book:


"This is a book absolutely bursting with truth. Three cheers for the strong young people who share their feelings in these pages -- and for Don Meyer, a great champion of brothers and sisters everywhere. If only I'd known you all when I was younger!"
--Rachel Simon, author of Riding the Bus with My Sister

"Welcome to the real world of siblinghood, described in all of its color, detail, and amazing emotional range by the experts--the sibs. These young writers stake out their territory and claim it with big honesty, a smashing sense of humor, and quiet but unstoppable courage. If you have preconceptions about people with disabilities or their siblings, leave them at the door, and get ready for a great read."
--Paul and Judy Karasik, authors of The Ride Together: A Brother And Sister’s Memoir Of Autism In The Family

“My seven-year-old kept pulling this book off of my desk, the kitchen counter, the nightstand whenever she found it, she'd pick it up and read a page or two. While she's a few years younger than the writers, I figure it's a good sign that other siblings will enjoy it, too. As a parent, I found it very worthwhile to read the thoughts and feelings of 80 teen sibling from around the United States (with a few from Australia, New Zealand and Canada included, too).  The teens' responses to 54 questions about themselves, their siblings, their families, their relationships and more made me laugh out loud, cry and think. I found myself wanting to ask my daughter these same questions to see what she had to say about, 'Do your parents include you in discussions about your sib?'"
--NDSC Down Syndrome News

"Sibling relationships, especially during the teenage years, can often be emotionally charged, but what happens when one sibling is a brother or sister with special needs? At times, sibs of special needs individuals feel left out and isolated with no one who understands their situation...until Don Meyer came along, that is. The Sibling Slam Book presents the thoughts of eighty such teens as they answer over fifty questions about life with a special needs sibling. The slam book format allows for realistic, honest, and age-appropriate answers. This is one of the best and most user-friendly books Disability Resources has come across in the growing field of 'sib books'."
--Disability Resources Online

Order The Sibling Slam Book
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Living with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs: A book for sibs

By Donald Meyer and Patricia Vadasy


Living with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs focuses on the intensity of emotions that brothers and sisters experience when they have a sibling with special needs, and the hard questions they ask: What caused my sibling's disability? Could my own child have a disability as well? What will happen to my brother or sister if my parents die? Written for young readers, the book discusses specific disabilities in easy to understand terms. It talks about the good and not-so-good parts of having a brother or sister who has special needs, and offers suggestions for how to make life easier for everyone in the family.

The book is a wonderful resource, not just for siblings and their parents but also for teachers and other professionals who work with children with special needs. This revised and updated edition includes new sections on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome, fragile X syndrome, traumatic brain injuries, ultrasound, speech therapy, recent legislation on disabilities, and an extensive bibliography.

Praise for Living with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs:
 

"This is a book that has long been awaited! [It] can be highly recommended to families, support groups, professionals and libraries."

-School Social Work Journal

"Good writing for children is relatively ageless and it is a tribute to the authors that most grown-ups would find it tolerable, even pleasurable, to read. The tone is marvelous; there is nothing patronizing about the style. This is a gem of a book."
-JASH

Order Living with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs

 

See our books for adult 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
Upcoming Events
Sibshop Facilitator Training and Sibling Workshops Mar 31, 2017 - Apr 01, 2017 — Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Sibshop Facilitator Training and Sibling Workshops May 04, 2017 - May 05, 2017 — Boston, Massachusetts
Sibshop Facilitator Training and Sibling Workshops Sep 29, 2017 - Sep 30, 2017 — Midland, Texas
Sibshop Facilitator Training and Sibling Workshops Oct 06, 2017 - Oct 07, 2017 — Dublin, Ireland
Sibshop Facilitator Training and Sibling Workshops Nov 10, 2017 - Nov 11, 2017 — Berwyn, PA
Upcoming events…