Back by Popular Demand: Abilis Sibshops Provides Fun Workshop for Siblings of Those with Special Needs
Winter/Spring Workshops: Feb 24, Mar 24, April 21 and May 19
Sibshops are high-spirited, fun workshops that combine recreation, discussion and information for siblings of those with a disability. Sibshops provides a safe space for siblings to share their thoughts and feelings while also meeting others in similar circumstances and provides a place to enjoy themselves through different recreation activities and through playing games while also learning about the services their brother(s) or sister(s) receive.
Sibshops is an international program created by the Sibling Support Project. The Sibshop curriculum is used throughout the United States and Canada and in Japan, New Zealand, Argentina, Iceland, Ireland, England, Italy, and Turkey.
“As a teen with a sibling with special needs, I experienced first-hand the challenges siblings face when a sibling has a disability,” noted Mary Kate (MK) Blum, a co-facilitator of the workshops.
Mary Kate, known as MK, is a 16-years-old and attends Greenwich Academy. She is passionate about musical theater and the GA Varsity Dance Team. Outside of school, MK is a Girl Scout Senior and a volunteer at Abilis where she serves as the secretary on the Abilis Youth Board. MK is also close with her family, especially her sister Brinkley, who along with many talents and unique qualities, is challenged with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. MK couldn’t be more excited to bring Sibshops to Abilis where she can help siblings have fun, relax, learn and connect with other peers who just get it.
Maddy Schulte, the other co-facilitator of Sibshops, is a case manager, healthy relationships and self-advocacy instructor at Abilis. She is graduating in May from Fordham University with her master’s degree in social work and started at Abilis as an intern in September of 2019 and fell in love with the work they do. She received her Sibshop facilitator certification in July 2020 and loves running the Sibshops workshops at Abilis.
The Abilis Sibshops program is limited to a group size of 10-to-12. Registration is limited and spaces will fill up fast, so it is recommended to register online at abilis.us/calendar (click on the corresponding date to go to the Sibshops registration page).
Abilis is celebrating its 70th year in 2021 of being a 501c3 non-profit organization that supports more than 800 individuals with special needs and their families from birth throughout their lives. Abilis is a leader serving the special needs community in Fairfield County, Connecticut, in towns including Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Stamford, Westport, Weston and Wilton, and has a long-standing reputation for individualized, high quality care.