Beloit Daily News - Monday, July 30, 2001

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`Camp program provides help'

Family Respite Care Services for Rock County has just completed the second annual Sib's Day Camp. The camp is designed to give siblings of children with special needs something just for them. A camp program like this is unique to Rock County. This year's Day Camp was located at Big Hill Park in Beloit. The campers ranged in age from 7 to 11 and are Rock County residents.

Studies have shown that siblings of children with special needs have needs of their own that are often neglected. In a family with a child who has a disability, the “non-disabled” child faces a high risk of developing serious emotional and behavioral problems. Interacting with peers who can relate directly to their mutual challenges heightens the sense of belonging and reduces the feeling of isolation. Siblings are more often faced with situations causing barriers rather than opportunities. For instance, waiting for appropriate care for their affected siblings can delay or even prevent participation in community events or even eliminate the opportunity for family vacations.

Family Respite Care Services would like to thank the Janesville Golden K Kiwanis and the Beloit Evening Lions for financial support that made this year's Sib's Day Camp possible. If you would like more information about the Day Camp or where to send financial contributions, please contact Family Respite Care Services for Rock County at 757-2005. Family Respite Care Services is sponsored by Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin.

Valerie Fjalstad, director Family Respite Care Services

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