A special support programme in Limerick's Dooradoyle has been developed for siblings of children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).
The programme, at St Gabriel’s Centre, is available for children aged 12 – 16 who already have a sibling attending the centre.
The sibling support programme will be run by Assistant Psychologists at the centre and will teach the children skills and techniques that they can use when interacting with their siblings.
As part of the programme, the children will take part in ice breakers and learn how to care for their own well being. The psychologists will also help them understand what it means to have a sibling with an additional.
The children will be taught how to take time for themselves, why their sibling has an additional need and how that can be managed. Another vital aspect of children’s lives are their interactions with their siblings and this programme will help them how to do this especially in terms of how they can play together.
Senior Occupational Therapist at St Gabriel’s, Patrick Hynes, explained some of the challenges experienced by siblings of children who have additional needs. “Sometimes it can be competing for time at home, particularily if there is a sibling at home who requires extra attention from their parents. Another issue can be dealing with their sibling at home if they are exhibiting some particularily challenging behaviour. They sometimes just need a little bit of support in how to handle these situations”.
If you wish to enroll you child in the sibling support programme, or wish to find out more about the services offered by St Gabriel’s they can contact them here 061 302733.
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