Monday, April 17, 2006

Siblings of Children with Special Needs

Siblings of children with chronic illnesses and developmental disabilities are two to three times more likely than their peers to experience psychological adjustment problems. Young children in particular are at high risk for experiencing these kinds of problems. To address this concern, a report published in the December 2005 issue of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology finds that family-based group intervention can help improve the self-confidence and knowledge of young siblings (ages 4 to 7) of children with special needs.

The authors found that the siblings' knowledge of the child's disorder and sibling "connectedness", or the feeling that they are not alone, increased significantly regardless of the nature of the brother or sister's condition. Siblings' feelings of competence also increased. The improvements in sibling knowledge and connectedness maintained at follow-up three months later.
Full article here.

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