Sibshops Peer Support Groups Now Offered in Ottawa County for Siblings of Children with Special Needs

submitted by Ottawa County Department of Public Health

Sibshops peer support groups are now being offered in Ottawa County for brothers and sisters of children with special needs. The Sibshops offer an engaging space for siblings to be heard, understood, and supported. 

Sisters and brothers will likely have the longest-lasting relationship with a sibling who has special needs or disabilities, a relationship that can exceed 65 years. During their lives, children who have siblings with special needs or disabilities will experience most of the unique joys and concerns their parents do, yet few will have the chance to talk about their experiences with other siblings who understand this unique experience. 

Sibshops are peer support groups that provide children with the opportunity to meet other siblings, and talk about both the good and difficult parts of having a sibling with special needs. Siblings also learn about their siblings’ special needs or disabilities and the services that child receives. Finally, siblings learn new ways to cope with the challenges of having a sibling with special needs. All while having fun and playing games!

Offered in communities around the country and the world, Sibshops are a place for siblings to be heard, understood and supported.

Sibshops is now in Ottawa County and children aged 6-13 are welcome to attend. Contact Andréa Vugteveen at or 616 460-3781 for more information. Check out Sibshops on Facebook at Ottawa County Sibshops.