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Why This Is Important
Why This Is Important

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Why This Is Important

The brothers and sisters of people with disabilities play important roles in families. Siblings often have the longest relationship of their lives with each other and greatly impact each other. The sibling relationship is an enduring bond that has a profound influence throughout a personís lifetime with shared experiences and memories. Siblings are uniquely positioned in the family to support their brothers and sisters with disabilities to lead self-determined lives. The peer nature of their relationship makes them well suited to support each other throughout life.

Siblings often play a key role in providing support for their brother and sisters with disabilities. Yet, getting support for themselves as siblings can be difficult and overwhelming. Addressing the needs of siblings across the lifespan will lead to better outcomes for families and people with disabilities. Siblings need a range of information at different points in their lives: From young siblings who need to know how to answer questions from their classmates or how to deal with bullying all the way to siblings who are juggling the care of their aging parents and their own children, as well as learning how to support their brother or sister with disabilities. Products in this department offer the information, tools, and support that is important for siblings of people with disabilities throughout the life course.

This web site is maintained by the Research and Training Center on Community Living with support from the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, the Human Services Research Institute and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. E-mail weste050@umn.edu.
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