‘AWESOME’ was the word my oldest son greeted me with when I collected him from Kempston Outdoor Activity Centre this afternoon. He had been there on a day trip organised by the Sibling Project Club which is part of Carers in Beds. Today the kids enjoyed a range of activities - kayaking, high ropes, jacobs ladder and crate stacking. They all seemed to be buzzing with confidence from their achievements of the day. This is the second activity our son has participated in this summer. A couple of months ago he did an afternoon of laser tag. These activities are funded by the Sibling Project Club with no cost to the children. It gives them a chance to be a kid and forget about the additional stresses of having a sibling with a disability for a few hours.
Groups like this are a lifeline for children who have siblings with disabilities. It is easy to take for granted that siblings cope with living with a brother/sister who has a disability and the extra pressures it can put on their lives. Our son often feels that he is caught in the middle of his older sister and younger brother who both have ASD and the attention they demand from us.
Besides day trips our son attends a monthly group held at a local youth centre. They have the chance to play games, play outdoors, do craft activities, computer games and make friends with other children their age in a similar situation. Carers in Beds run groups at 3 locations in Bedfordshire - Kempston, Dunstable and Biggleswade and do groups for 2 age groups (4-9 years and 10-16 years).
All details can be found on their website http://www.carersinbeds.org.uk/siblingprojectclubs.html