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Growing up with a brother or sister who requires special attention can pose some unique challenges. Parents usually try their best to devote equal time to all their children, but in reality, children with extraordinary medical and/or educational needs often require more attention than their healthy siblings.

Many children whose siblings have special needs grow up to be especially sensitive and tolerant adults, often choosing to work in human services professions like special education and nursing. Others may harbor long-lasting resentment about the impact their special sibling had on the family. Above all, it is essential that siblings be given a voice to express both good and bad aspects of their experience.

To learn what 22q siblings would like parents and service providers to know: Click here.

Learn more about the needs of siblings through the Sibling Support Project.

Sibshops is another nationally-recognized program that offers brothers and sisters the opportunity to meet and talk with others who know what it is like to have a sibling with a disability. Sibshops include a lively mixture of games, discussion, and guest speakers; for many participants, Sibshops allows them to talk openly for the first time about the experience of growing up with a special sibling. The program is typically offered at low cost and available at locations throughout the US and Canada.

Evidence-based Medical and Therapeutic Intervention? Who Needs It?

Click here for a discussion for parents of children with special developmental needs about evidence, consensus and anecdotal-based interventions.

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At the International 22q11.2 Foundation we help families that need important resources and information to meet the needs of loved ones with 22q.