Picture this...You have a 13-year-old son with Autism. You spend a great deal of time caring for your child, and he is making progress every day. You go above and beyond to care for him. Each morning is a struggle while you get him ready for school, make his breakfast, and pack his bag. Regardless, you do everything that you can to help him to be successful because he is your son. Then, you go to work. When you return home, it will be time for dinner, homework, and getting ready for bed.
Your 10-year-old daughter is a great help at home. She washes dishes, folds the laundry, and helps to prepare dinner. She is doing okay in school. However, you notice that she becomes easily frustrated at home. Lately, she has been getting upset at her brother for little things. She thinks it is her Autistic brother who gets all the attention from you. What can you do to help this child? Where can a family in this situation turn?
Welcome to “The Bus Stop Club” is a FREE
program for siblings (ages 7 to 15) of chronically ill, mentally disabled or physically handicapped children. Monthly sessions allow siblings to share experiences, to ask questions, and to learn about the disease process that their brother or sister is experiencing. It also includes fun activities such as swimming, basketball, arts n’ crafts, as well as group trips to area sporting and community events. The monthly meetings currently take place at area YMCAs.
Meetings are staffed by volunteer Social Workers, Physicians, and other qualified staff in an effort to enable these kids to express their feelings in a casual group setting. Siblings can play games, eat pizza, and just be kids. It allows children to learn from other children. It also allows them to see that they are not alone and that other kids may be struggling the same issues and feelings.
Living with a sibling with an illness is very common. In fact, there are over 25,000 chronically ill children in the Capital District alone. Siblings often feel as if they are overly responsible for helping the family or like they are missing out on many opportunities that other kids can enjoy. The Bus Stop Club meetings allow them to have fun, experience new things, and build their self-esteem. Their mission is to provide support to empower these siblings to cope with adverse life events they may face because they have a sibling with an illness or disability.
If your family is in a similar situation or if you know a family who could benefit from this program, visit www.busstopclub.com
for more information. You can also email the “Bus Stop Club” at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Angela Tobin
Phone: (518) 221-4402