There is increased awareness of the needs of siblings of children with a disability. They are likely to experience difficult relationships with their brother or sister with special needs and receive less attention in the family, and are at risk of experiencing negative mental health and wellbeing. Sibling groups in Singapore primarily focus on providing siblings with an avenue to interact and build bonds with other siblings through recreational activities and have not evaluated the effectiveness of such groups. Using “FRAME” framework, developed by UK charity SIBS, the project aims to run and evaluate a therapeutic sibling support group “Being a SuperSib” providing psycho-education and develop emotional resiliency. The study comprises running and evaluating a sibling support group that consists of 10 sessions of 90 minutes each, across 10 weeks. Participants comprise seven children attending mainstream schools in Singapore, aged 7 to 11 years old, with both males (n= 4) and females (n = 3), who have a sibling with a disability/multiple disabilities currently attending Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore. Mixed methodology (quantitative and qualitative) design is adopted. At pre and post, participants self-report on various measures, including Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and Moods and Feelings Questionnaire, and a semi-structured interview. Parents of participants self-report on demographics, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, and Siblings Relationship Questionnaire. The hypotheses that are being examined are that typically developing siblings will show improved mood, self-esteem, sibling relationships and personal social skills post group. The present study intends to contribute to the literature by providing a fuller understanding of the various aspects of the relationships between siblings and their brother or sister with special needs and the mental health effects as well as the benefits of sibling support group. Clinical and practical implications will be discussed in the Singapore context.
Teerousha Mootin Sornum, Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore, Singapore
Jia Hui Chng, Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore, Singapore
Greeshma Chandran, Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore, Singapore
Parandaman Thechanamurthi, Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore, Singapore