Review Blog

Oct 30 2014

Siblings: Brothers and sisters of children with disability by Kate Strohm

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Wakefield Press, 2014. ISBN 9781743052334
(Age: For adults) Highly recommended. As with any Wakefield Press publication, the standard of production is excellent and the subject matter is relevant and interesting. This book makes an important contribution to the discussion of siblings who grow up with a brother or a sister with a disability. Often their circumstances are overlooked as families struggle together to cope with many daily challenges. This is a revised edition of Kate Strohm's self-help book, first published in 2002. The author comes from such a family situation and her personal story along with the stories of others makes for a reassuring and informative read. She has apparently given workshops, incorporating her experiences and suggested strategies for supporting these individuals, around Australian and overseas.
The book is considered an aid for both families and professionals.
Following 'sibling stories' Kate addresses future strategies, providing a sense of connection with others in the same situation, and discussing ongoing support needs.
One forgets how many adjustments have to be made in life when you are a sibling of a person with a disability, a chronic illness or a mental health issue. The stresses can last a lifetime. So this book is valuable in recognising the problem and helping to narrow the gap for many who have struggled without adequate support, perhaps not realising that the support is there. As founder of the organisation Siblings Australia Strohm advocates for continued support services and greater government recognition.
The book concludes with a valuable resource list, which has obviously been updated for this revised edition. Readable and highly recommended.
Further information is available here.
Julie Wells

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