This past Wednesday afternoon, Jaqueline and I spoke about the sibling experience to students pursuing the Developmental Disabilities minor at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). Dr. Barbara Wheeler is the Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at USC Keck School of Medicine and the Associate Director of the USC UCEDD. She is an advocate for systems change in the field of Developmental Disabilities and has taught at CSULA for the past six years to raise a racially diverse workforce that is attuned to the needs of families and individuals affected by Developmental Disabilities. While still stunned to receive her invitation and the entrustment, we had an engaging time of sharing and discussion with the students.
Siblings have experienced something unique. Here at California Sibling Leadership Network, we see that as an investment of sorts and a responsibility to advocate for our siblings and for ourselves. We want to prepare to meet the challenge of supporting our siblings across the lifespan. We want to do our part to facilitate our siblings’ livelihood and their meaningful integration into the community. The lives of our siblings count; we want to make sure that they do.
A big thanks to Dr. Barbara Wheeler, Fran Goldfarb, Don Meyer, Katie Arnold, Rose Castillo-Chacana, and Melinda Sullivan for their contribution towards the lecture and the growing “sibling” movement in California!