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Peep Peep!

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They may just look like sticky, sweet, marshmallowy-treats, but those cute bunnies and chicks made magic happen in the creative hands of those who entered our Sibs Are My Peeps contest this past month.

Some used the opportunity for team-building in their agency or family. Some tell a story. Still others used the opportunity to tell about their passion or an upcoming event.

Thank you to the Willems Student Marketing Team for collaborating with WisconSibs to make this project so much fun and bring out the voices of WisconSibs and their fans. The team of Appleton High School students applied their knowledge and youthful thinking to help us carry out this project.  Well done, team!

We are very proud to announce the semi-finalists for 2018.  These winning entries will advance to the finals at the free Fox Cities Kidz Expo on April 14th at the new Fox Cities Exhibition Center.  Come visit our booth, sponsored by We Energies, and vote for your favorite to be the WisconSibs Peepl’s Choice!

BEST USE OF PEEPS AWARD

Peeplelympics by CP Fox Cities

 

PEEP OF PERFECTION AWARD

What’s Your Superpower? by WI Board for People with Disabilities

CREATIVITY AWARD

To Market To Market by Djuanna and Drake

PEEP-TASTIC NAME AWARD

Little Bob Peeps Roller Rink by Ainsley

LITTLE PEEPS AWARD (tie)

Peep-tastic Playground by Elise

LITTLE PEEPS AWARD (tie)

Peep Camp by Jack, Maxwell, and Gabriel

April 14 2018
9 am – 3 pm
Fox Cities Exhibition Center
FREE! Bring the kids!


Caring For a Sibling with Mental Illness

Posted on by wisibs

You’ve heard me say it over and over…siblings have the longest and one of the most significant bonds in the life of a person with disabilities. That’s why staff, volunteers, and participants with WisconSibs have such passion to support siblings from childhood through adulthood and why we CELEBRATE the unique role of siblings, especially sisters (by the way Celebrate Sisterhood will be October 30, 2018).

That passion inspires us to not only recognize the millions of siblings of people with developmental disabilities, but also people with emotional and mental health concerns.   An estimated 8.4 million Americans are caregivers to adult loved ones with a mental illness, most often a son or daughter, parent, spouse or sibling.

Sisters bond - mental health

Jean Moore (left) shares a laugh with her sister, Ruby Wilson, in front of the assisted living facility where Wilson lives on Oct. 12, 2017, in Clinton, N.C. (Andrew Craft for Kaiser Health News)

Recently, the Kaiser Health News published a wonderful story about two sisters, Jean and Ruby and their bond as sisters, one with paranoid schizophrenia.

The girls grew up very close, almost like twins. “They used to say our name as JeannieandRuby. It was like one person.”  But as they became teenagers, Rudy’s mental health changed and their lives began to diverge. As they became adults, Jean became a caregiver and an even closer sister.  READ STORY

WisconSibs offers Sibshops to children ages 8-14 who are growing up with brothers or sisters with emotional or mental health concerns.  Each session is held in a relaxed setting with games, snacks, and discussion about the concerns and the joys of growing up with their sibling.  Held at the Catalpa Day Treatment Center in Appleton, siblings can join in any time during the series from January through May, 2018.  For more information.

Download Catalpa Series Sibshop flyer Jan-May 2018

“Caregiving situations for siblings pack an extra emotional punch for the caregiver,” said John Schall, who runs the Caregiver Action Network, a nonprofit organization that supports people providing care to loved ones. “It’s not unusual for us to think at some point of being the caregiver for our elderly parents, but it’s a whole different thing to be a caregiver for a sibling who we always thought of as equals.”

JOIN US for a Community Dialogue on Family Caregivers – Monday, January 29, 2018 at the WisconSibs office, 211 E Franklin St., Appleton, WI – MORE INFORMATION


Caring: It’s not the hard part of caregiving

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WisconSibs is hosting an event for

  • family members who provide care to other family members (of any age or disability),
  • individuals receiving care, and
  • professionals providing services to caregivers.

This is a great opportunity to get information that will help you as a caregiver and voice your thoughts on what you need.

You will hear other caregivers, along with local professionals, discuss their experiences as care givers and what they have learned that could be helpful to others.  This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Two sessions are being offered:  1:30-3:00 pm   and   4:30-6:00 pm


November is National Family Caregiver Month

Posted on by wisibs
2017 Sibling's Choice Award Winner - Amanda Upton

Harriet Redman with Amanda Upton 2017 Sibling’s Choice Award. Nominated by Charlotte and Eleanor Woeflel and presented by Former WI Governor Martin J. Schreiber

Caregivers.  Most siblings don’t see themselves that way. But the fact is that nearly EVERYBODY in the U.S., regardless if they are a sibling or not:

has been a caregiver for a family member.

currently is a caregiver for a family member.

will be a caregiver for a family member.

This month, WisconSibs CELEBRATE caregivers…those people who may help a family member get to the doctor, make a meal, clean their home, shovel their sidewalks, drive them to church, take them grocery shopping, balance their checkbook, pay their bills, pick out their daily clothing, help them eat, use the bathroom, get ready for bed, take their meds ….WHATEVER the care needed, they are there.

2017 Sibling's Choice winner - Lori Moy

Lori Moy, 2017 Sibling’s Choice Award winner, with brother Jon and family.

This year, WisconSibs, inc was honored to award the 9th annual Sibling’s Choice Awards to Amanda Upton and Lori Moy.  These two women represent nearly 600,000 caregivers in Wisconsin who devote over 500 million hours of unpaid care to loved ones.  READ MORE about them

More recently,WisconSibs, Inc has joined forces with other disability and aging agencies throughout Wisconsin to form the Wisconsin Family Caregiver Support Alliance. This group has many projects for 2018 to support caregivers. READ MORE



Oct-Dec 2017 SibNews

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Hot off the press!  Your Oct-Dec 2017 issue of SibNews is filled with information, news, photos, and even a recipe you’re going to love!  READ ALL ABOUT IT!

The feature story is about Katie and Kristie Carlsen, sisters who live together and really help one another get through life.  While not originally what either of them planned, they are having a great time living in the community together. Read about what it takes to be a caregiver sister and the rewards they both enjoy.

Other news includes:

  • Tips for Caregivers Sibs
  • A Letter of Thanks from an Adult with Disabilities to Her Sibs
  • Calendar of Oct-Dec 2017 Events
  • Recipe for Super Fudge Brownies (great for allergen sensitive)
  • Photos from Summer Camps!

Click to GET YOUR COPY

 



Sound Off!

Posted on by wisibs

WisconSibs conducts many different activities during Sibshops, like the “Sound Off” activity. This activity has the child answer a few questions. This is not just a great writing activity, but also a great conversation to have with your kids.

The activity goes like this:

  • If I could tell…. (my parents, my friends, my teacher, the whole world)
  • Just ONE THING that is …. (good, so-so…)
  • About having a sib with special needs it would be….

Some of the examples we received were:

  • If I could tell my friends,
    • Just one thing that is good
    • About having a sib with special needs it would be: that I get to be noticed from her and I get to come here.
  • If I could tell The whole world
    • Just one thing that is good
    • About having a sib with special needs it would be: I ALWAYS have a friend.
  • If I could tell my parents
    • Just one thing that makes me angry about having a sibling with a disability, it would be:
    • The amount of attention my sibling gets even if I know the reason why.
  • If I could tell my parents
    • Just one thing that is not-so-good
    • About having a sib with special needs it would be: I feel like I have to make them proud enough to fill the void of my sibling not doing so well in school.

Parents, this would be a great activity to do with your children! Some sibs may not want to share a not-so-good moment because they understand that you are busy and you don’t need more stress. These questions can bridge the gap. Also, sound offs can create a great atmosphere of positivity! Give it a try and let us know how it went for you.


What do the Counselors get out of SibDays?

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Counselors at SibDays

The counselors at Sibdays of Summer truly set the tone for the week. Camp is an amazing experience not only for the campers, ages 6-12, attending but for the teen counselors as well. They develop relationships with the kids and with one another.

At the end of camp we ask the parents and counselors to fill out a survey to get feedback. One of the questions that we asked our counselors is what they felt they got out of volunteering for the week.

Multiple answers reflected on what WisconSibs is truly about, relationships with other siblings. They form a special bond with the other counselors and friendships that truly will last through all their life adventures. The counselors also said how great it was being able to work with the kids and seeing their growth throughout the week and how amazing it felt at the end, knowing they were apart of something like this.

Many noticed how their own leadership skills grew from participating with our Teen Sib Leadership training and then the week of SibDays. The counselors had a great week and we are so grateful for all of their hard work and dedication!

How do you feel you benefited from being a volunteer counselor at SibDays?

“It showed me how unique the kids are and that they each have their own ways of learning.” (age 14)
“I got to spend time with kids other than my siblings and have fun with them.” (age 14)
“I got better.” (age 14)
“I had fun but took charge.” (age 15)
“I have met some of my best friends from SibDays.” (age 15)
“The feeling of making a difference and helping the kids.” (age 16)
“The feeling after the week is just amazing, knowing you contributed.” (age 16)
“I feel like I am more responsible.” (age 16)
“I love being a counselor for kids. It’s so much fun!” (age 17)
“I was able to meet new people and also practice my leadership skills.” (age 17)
“It gives me a sense of purpose.” (age 17)
“Connecting with others and helping campers.” (age 17)
“I feel that I made an impact on the kids and know more about myself.” (age 19)
“Knowing other people like you are out there and making a difference in someone’s life.” (age 21)