Siblings of People with IDD: A Look Across the Lifespan

The Spring 2020 feature issue of the newsletter Impact focuses on siblings of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The Impact series contains strategies, research, and success stories in specific focus areas related to persons with IDD and other disabilities. It’s published three times a year by the Institute on Community Integration, Minnesota’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

In their introduction to this feature issue, Siblings of People with IDD: A Look Across the Lifespan, the newsletter editors note that “siblings of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are frequently involved in their brother’s or sister’s life longer than anyone else in their family. They have unique experiences, perspectives, and needs that are too important to ignore, and yet they often feel overlooked as service providers, educators, family members, and others focus primarily on the needs of the sibling with disabilities and parents. In this Impact issue we focus on the brothers and sisters of children, teens, and adults with IDD – what we know about them, their roles and needs across the lifespan, their feelings about themselves and their siblings, and how to support them.”

Eric McVay, a leader in Maine’s self-advocacy movement, is among the issue’s contributors. In Sibling Support and Self-Advocacy: Eric’s Story, he discusses how his sister, Tonya, shares and supports his passion for the work. Other contributors include Don Meyer, creator of Sibshops; Katie Arnold, founding executive director of the Sibling Leadership Network; and advocates and researchers John Kramer, Ph.D. and Tamar Heller, Ph.D.