There are an estimated two children in every classroom who are growing up with a brother or sister who is disabled or has special educational needs or has a serious long-term medical condition. The needs of these children are often overlooked leading to problems with wellbeing and progress in school.
Siblings are vulnerable to isolation and bullying. They are more likely than their peers to experience public prejudice, family breakdown and bereavement.
Cuts to services for families of disabled children has increased the negative impact of disability on siblings and reduced the referral options for siblings to get support through community groups and CAMHS.
At HSMS our pupils are at the age when the difference between their sibling and other siblings can become more apparent. They are reaching their teenage years when conforming in looks and behaviour are so important. This means that they often feel more embarrassed by their sibling.
Siblings of disabled children face a number of barriers to learning. By being aware of these, school staff can take action to identify them and so remove or reduce them.
There is a high possibility that lockdown will have exacerbated all the issues faced by families of disabled children. Much support and respite care was suspended and this will have adversely affected the siblings.
What we do at HSMS?
If you feel your child would benefit from this, please contact Anna Fox via the school office or contact the charity Sibs (www.sibs.org.uk) which offers excellent advice and information for families.