Sibshops

Sibshop Logo

One aspect of family-centered care is that the needs of the whole family must be considered. There are many supports in place for the child with special needs, but there is little support, if any, for the siblings.

Sibshops are where school-age brothers and sisters connect with their peers (usually for the first time) and form friendships that can provide a lifetime of support. Sibshops are powerful, effective and fun workshops for siblings.

There are 26 Sibshops across Canada , but none in the Hamilton area. Opening Hearts offered the first Sibshop in Hamilton on June 21, 2014. It was an amazing success with the all of the kids being very excited about coming back to more Sibshops. We are proud to have been running Sibshops every school year since then.

Sibshops are designed to support the well being of the family member most likely to have the longest-lasting relationship with the person with special needs.

Don Meyer
Founder of Sibshops

2018-2109 Sibshop Schedule

We are pleased to announce our 2018-2019 Sibshop schedule. We will run monthly from October 2018 to June 2019, every second Saturday of the month. Please see the following for dates, times and locations.

Please note: Sibshops are for 8-12 year old children.

DateTime
October 13, 201810am to 2pm
November 10, 201810am to 2pm
December 8, 201810am to 2pm
January 12, 201910am to 2pm
February 9, 201910am to 2pm
March 9, 201910am to 2pm
April 13, 201910am to 2pm
May 11, 201910am to 2pm
June 8, 201910am to 2pm

Location

DateTime
October 13, 201810am to 2pm
November 10, 201810am to 2pm
December 8, 201810am to 2pm
January 12, 201910am to 2pm
February 9, 201910am to 2pm
March 9, 201910am to 2pm
April 13, 201910am to 2pm
May 11, 201910am to 2pm
June 8, 201910am to 2pm

Location

The Goals of Sibshops

  1. Sibshops will provide brothers and sisters of children with special needs an opportunity to meet other siblings in a relaxed, recreational setting.
  2. Sibshops will provide brothers and sisters with opportunities to discuss common joys and concerns with other siblings of children with special needs.
  3. Sibshops will provide siblings with an opportunity to learn how others handle situations commonly experienced by siblings of children with special needs.
  4. Sibshops will provide siblings with an opportunity to learn more about the implications of their sibling’s special needs.
  5. Sibshops will provide parents and other professionals with opportunities to learn more about the concerns and opportunities frequently experienced by brothers and sisters of people with special needs.

What Sibshops Grads are Saying

Not long ago 2 researchers from the University of Washington surveyed “Sibshop Grads”, with an age range of 18-30. Here is some of the results.

Improved feelings towards siblings 90%
Taught better coping strategies 67%
Positively affected adult life 75%
Would recommend Sibshops 94%

Improved feelings towards siblings

90%

Taught better coping strategies

67%

Positively affected adult life

75%

Would recommend Sibshops

94%

Karla made new friendships. She blossomed from a shy a little girl to a confident enthusiastic girl. I am very thankful Sibshops were there for Karla. She reminded me every month when Sibshops were. We saw academic progress and confidence grow after she started Sibshops.

Mom of Karla, a Sibshop Participant

Sibshop Registration Form

Sibling Being Registered

* Additional Information

Each Sibshop runs from 10:00 to 2:00pm on the Saturdays listed above
Addresses for each location:

Delta United Church
47 Ottawa St S
Hamilton, ON L8K 2C9
Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club
45 Ellis Ave
Hamilton, ON L8H 4L8

Parent Information

The following information helps us plan appropriate educational components of our group. (Optional)

Click here if there is another sibling with special needs

Additional Information

Waivers and Permissions