QSAC’s Sibling Support Group entered its tenth year in July of 2015. The program is open to any family with a child on the autism spectrum. There is a Support Group for siblings, Respite supervised by QSAC staff trained in ABA, as well as an optional Parent Support Group. The program was a 5 week experience, held once a week in the evenings at the QSAC Preschool.
QSAC’s team of facilitators included: to Dita DeSena, Director of After School, Rocio Chavez, Assistant Director of After School, Nevena Savic, Assistant Director of Family Education and Training, Ana Lopez, Staff Trainer, and , Madelyn Wolfin, Social Work Coordinator.
QSAC’s Sibling Support Group provided an opportunity for brothers and sisters of children with autism to obtain peer support and education within a recreational atmosphere. The 2015 siblings ranged in age from 5 to 14 years old, and met for a series of 5 weeks. The children were grouped according to their age, and participated in fun and creative small group exercises. Each meeting was focused on a different theme, designed to elicit an open expression of feelings in a warm, non judgmental environment.
While the children were engaged in Sibling Group and Respite, the parents were invited to participate in a Support Group as well. Although the program was pleased to welcome several new families, a considerable number of participants continue to return year after year. The 2015 Sibling Support Program had 48 participants in total, with 16 children attending the Sibling Support Group, 13 children in Respite, and 19 parents in the Parent Support Group.
The final meeting of the summer traditionally ends with a party for all. This “Bring a Dessert Party” is a time where parents and children join together to eat and share their experiences. It was fun and rewarding for everyone involved. In response to the requests of the participants, QSAC will be offering a series of sibling special events throughout the year. The first meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday October 21, 2015 at 6:30PM at the QSAC Preschool in Douglaston. Feel free to contact Madelyn Wolfin at (718) 728-8476 x 1519 or Mwolfin@qsac.com for further information.
A special thanks to all of the families who participated in the program. They were instrumental to the program’s success, and we look forward to many rewarding years together in the future!