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Sibshops/Respite Scheduled May 5 in Claremore

Penny King of the Rogers County OSU Extension Service will Lead the Sibshops

Sooner Success and the Rogers County OSU Extension Service are partnering to host a Rogers County Sibshop and Respite Night. This is a free, fun and educational time for siblings of children with special needs. The events are scheduled for May 5, 4-6 p.m., at the Rogers County Fairground Building. This is the first year to combine a respite night with Sibshop.

 “Brothers and sisters will have the longest lasting relationship with a sibling who has a disability (often exceeding 60 years), and research shows that the concerns of brothers and sisters of children with special health needs parallel that of their parents,” said Tonda Ames, Rogers and Tulsa County Sooner Success coordinator.  “During their lives, they will experience most of the unique concerns and joys that their parents do.  But few siblings of children with special needs ever have a chance to talk about their issues with others who “get it”, until now.”

Sibshop is program designed to provide peer support and education within a recreational setting for children ages six to 13 who have siblings with a special need.  The program acknowledges that being the sibling of a person with special needs is a good thing for some, a not-so-good thing for others, and for many, it is somewhere in-between. Sibshop is for the sibling without special needs, and respite is for the sibling with special needs.

Penny King, Rogers County OSU Extension Services Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, will lead the Sibshop. This is the second year King has lead the Sibshop. Her background in this area provides a natural fit as a fun and educated Sibshop leader. Ames, and student volunteers from Claremore’s FCCLA program, will lead the respite evening. Both the Sibshop and Respite evening will be in the Rogers County Fair Building, but in separate areas. The respite evening will take place at the same time, and is for children with special needs.

“Our theme for this combined event is ‘New Beginnings.’ We will have activities revolving around that theme including animals, flower planting, as well as child yoga. Snacks will be provided. There are a limited number of openings for the respite evening because we want to keep the volunteer-to-attendee ratio at a manageable level. Respite is only open to siblings with disabilities of the children attending Sibshop. So if a family has a child without special needs and one with special needs, then they would need to register for both events or they can just register for the Sibshop,” said Ames.

Deadline to register for the Sibshop/Respite evening is May 1. Registrations can be made by contacting: Tonda-ames@ouhsc.edu or calling 918-712-0340.

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