Introducing the new “Bayou Buddies Sibshop” program, a place for siblings of those with disabilities to connect and relate

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Lindsay Ellender, founder (left), with two attendees. Photo provided.

Lindsay Ellender, Pediatric Speech Therapist at the Center for Pediatric Therapy in Thibodaux, is bringing a new support group to local children: “Bayou Buddies Sibshop,” a place where siblings of individuals with disabilities can come talk, relate, and find a supportive space.

“This is a new local nonprofit that is a part of the national Sibling Support Project,” explained Ellender. “It is for siblings of children with special needs to come together and talk about the highs, and lows, of having a sibling with a diagnosis. The unfortunate truth when a child has a diagnosis is that the resources and attention within the family go mostly towards them– which put the other siblings in a tough situation. The goal of the Sibshop is to hopefully help the siblings connect with other kids their age in similar situations who they can relate to.”

Ellender explained that as the sibling of an individual with a disability, the mission of this project is very personal to her. “Not only do I have a sibling who had a diagnosis, but working at the Center for Pediatric Therapy we see this situation a lot,” Ellender said. “I always feel a little bit drawn to the siblings and what they are going through. I wish we had something like this when I was growing up!”

The next Sibshop will take place on Saturday, December 2, 2023 from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Center for Pediatric Therapy in Thibodaux. Siblings ages 8-13 are welcome to attend. Lunch will be provided, and Christmas attire is highly encouraged! There is no fee to attend, but please RSVP to Lindsay Ellender at (713) 825-7898 or