For the past six weeks Zach's enjoyed being part of a Sibling Support Group. There were five kids total in the group and they each have a sister with special needs. The purpose of the group was to provide the kids with an environment where they could be with other kids who dealt with the same issues having a special needs sibling and to give them an arena where they could talk openly and share about the issues and feelings that arrive from having a special sibling as well as to have those feelings validated.
A mom that we know, Britt, is a clinical social worker, AND has grown up with a sibling with special needs and she's had an interest in doing a group like this for a while. Can you say "win/win"?!? Britt not only provided an amazing experience for our kids, but she did it for FREE. She gave up time being with her family to spend time with our kids. And they all LOVED it. And while the kids were in their meeting, us moms were able to go to a Mexican restaurant and have our own little group therapy. I'm so thankful for Britt and for the experience she was able to give Zach. Every week he has looked forward to going and I think all of the kids were a little sad that last night was their last session. Britt ended the six weeks with a trip to Carvel after their meeting and the moms were presented with a little book they had been working on about their sibling....and I think we all got a little choked up. While the kids were eating their ice cream and having a blast, Britt shared some things with us and there were definitely tears shed. I am SO THANKFUL that I have such a great group of moms that I get to surround myself with. I learn and get so much support from these groups and it makes me so happy that Zach got to experience that for himself as well. We decided that this has been such a positive experience for the kids that we're going to keep them meeting once a month. We're going to take them to the restaurant that we've been going to and they can sit at their own table and talk and the mom's can sit at their own table so the kids can still freely share whatever they want. They've got a bond that they share and we all feel so strongly about continuing to give them the platform to continue to feel like they're not so different because of their sibling and to talk about whatever comes up - the good, the bad and the ugly! :)
I think we need to come up with a really cool name for their group....but here they are at Carvel.