At SIBSPlace You Will Hear...
We imagine the picture of the perfect family with all the promise that life can bring. Suddenly, dreams go awry, as a child is diagnosed with cancer or another devastating illness or disability. Family balance is lost, the picture blurs, as the needs of the diagnosed child distract parents and super-cede the needs of the well sibling.
At SIBSPlace we readjust the camera's lens, so the invisible child comes back into focus, enabling a family to ground itself in some sense of normalcy. We honor the unique experiences of the well sibling by reaffirming the special attributes they offer.
If you listen with us, at SIBSPlace, you will hear:
"I can't go near my sister when she sneezes because I'll catch her chemotherapy and get cancer, too." A child's misperceptions that cause anxiety.
"I never get angry with my brother for breaking my toys, but I get P- I- S- T at my toys for breaking." The difficulty a child has connecting to feelings of guilt and anger.
"I wish I had a superpower that could make all children who are sick feel better." The helplessness and devastation expressed by a well sibling.
"I'm so excited, my father is going to wear a neck brace just like mine. He did the same thing for my sister when she started chemotherapy and, he shaved his head." A child's need to be recognized, supported and to feel special too.
"When is mom coming home, I need help, too!" A sibling's feelings of abandonment while an ill/disabled child's needs are being met.
"I'm glad I can come to SIBSPlace because I'm not allowed to have play-dates with other children or I might get my brother sick." The sense of isolation a child lives with when their sibling"s life is compromised.
"Everyone is always asking about my brother. What about me?" The jealous feelings prompted by the focus on the ill/disabled child.
"I'm always worried that something bad is going to happen to my sister, she's been sick for so long!" The overwhelming fear that shatters a child"s safety shield of invulnerability.
Amidst the chaos that these children live with, SIBSPlace offers a warm and caring environment where they can develop empowerment skills, re-capture consistency, externalize and validate feelings and, afterall, just enjoy being kids.
Our program is outcome oriented, providing support and facilitating resiliency through a difficult time in a family's life. Although aware of the children's underlying sadness, a day at SIBSPlace creates a happy memory, that like a photograph, they will always remember.
If you are interested in learning more about SIBSPlace, please contact
Suzanne Kornblatt, LMSW, at (516) 374-3000.
“SIBSPlace…A Place Where A Child Matters Most!”
SIBSPlace • 1420 Broadway • Hewlett, NY 11557 • (516) 374-3000 • sibsplace.org