Workshop Supports Siblings of Individuals with Autism

Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support to host leading expert in sibling support

Monday, April 16, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (April 16, 2012) - Siblings play an important role in the lives of individuals with autism, and they also face a unique set of challenges. To address the needs of this essential population, The Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support at Saint Joseph’s University began offering Sibshops, workshops designed to help brothers and sisters talk about their struggles and successes, learn to serve as role models, and manage common situations. The Kinney Center, which is the first in the area to offer autism-specific Sibshops, will present a two-day program on May 4 and 5 on the James J. Maguire ’58 Campus. The goal of the program is two-fold: to offer siblings an outlet for discussion and to allow service providers the opportunity to be trained as Sibshop facilitators.

The two-day program will feature Don Meyer, director of the Sibling Support Project and founder of the Supporting Extended Family Members (SEFAM) Program at the University of Washington. Meyer is the nation’s leading trainer and educator on sibling support. Topics for workshops include “Life-long Issues Faced by Brothers and Sisters of Individuals with Autism,” and “Starting Your Own Local Sibshop,” among others.

The cost for day one is $225. To attend both days, the cost is $350. Group rates are available. It is necessary to attend both days to become a first-generation Sibshop facilitator.

“Siblings are the family members who will have the longest relationship with their brother or sister with autism spectrum disorder (ASD),” adds Theresa Gill, associate director of community outreach for the Kinney Center. “It is so important to provide siblings an outlet like this to share their feelings and concerns.”

For more information on the event and to register, visit, or contact the Kinney Center at 610-660-2170.

About the Kinney Center: With its roots in the Jesuit mission of service and cura personalis, or care for the whole person, the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support seeks to address the needs of those who struggle day-to-day with autism, either as individuals or caregivers. The mission of the Kinney Center is to provide multi-disciplinary education and research opportunities for students, teachers, professionals, and parents who seek to improve and extend opportunities, outcomes, quality of life and best practices in treatment for people with ASD. The Kinney Center offers services, resources, and information; support and guidance; and tools for public and individual advocacy that contribute to improved autism awareness and care.

Media Contact

Kelly Welsh, Director of Communications/College of Arts and Sciences, University Communications, 610-660-1385,

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