For most parents, the birth a child heralds the lifelong feeling of their hearts walking about outside them. If the child is disabled, that feeling often goes hand in hand with fear, especially as the children grow into adulthood and the parents age. “What will become of my child after I’m gone?” is the most prevalent concern. There’s just one thing to do: Prepare.
The Siblings Club is a new program launched at the Foundation to prepare the siblings of our students and trainings to take on the responsibilities of care from their parents. “The training will empower siblings in terms of intention to help, awareness about disabilities and their rights, and creating a support system while nurturing their own mental health. It’s a full package to create ambassadors for disabled people,” explains Shreema Das, one of our team of counsellors and psychologists leading the program.
The certified course comprises 10 sessions on topics including understanding developmental disabilities, dealing with behavioural issues, the rights and entitlement of disabled individuals, financial planning and self-care. The curriculum is designed to be fun, engaging and thought-provoking for participants in two cohorts, ranging in age from 12 to adulthood. Guest speakers will include Jo Chopra, mother of Moy Moy, a disabled child, and Executive Director, LRF; Harpreet Kaur, special educator and sister of a disabled adult; Rizwan Ali, Legal Advisor at the Foundation; Sabah Saeed, Director, Educational Services; and Prem Singh, Project Head, LRF Center for Vocational Training.