Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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Support for siblings

The disAbility Resource Center in Fredericksburg will hold the next in its series of Sibshops on Sept. 17, offering children whose siblings have special needs the chance to play and talk with other kids whose siblings have disabilities.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church, children in first through fifth grade will play games, participate in activities and have the chance to share their joys and worries with their peers. The cost is $15 for one child or $25 per family. Scholarships are available.

To reserve a spot, contact Jenny Fain at 540/373-2559 or by emailing her at

Sibshops were created by  Don Meyer, director of the Siblings Support Project in Seattle, to provide support to kids whose family relationships and emotions may be complicated by a sibling’s special needs.

Brothers and sisters may experience a range of emotions because of their siblings’ differences — from compassion to protectiveness to guilt to frustration to resentment (if they feel jealous of the attention the sibling receives from the parents) to worry and more.

“Sibshops are best described as opportunities for brothers and sisters of children with special health and developmental needs to obtain peer support and education within a recreational context. They reflect an agency’s commitment to the well-being of the family member most likely to have the longest-lasting relationship with the person with special needs,” says information on the Sibling Support Project website (

To learn more about the local disAbility Resource Center, visit