Exceptional Families

SibShops supports kids with special needs siblings

Kids aged nine to fifteen meet at Sibshops once a month between October and April and talk with others with similar sibling situations. Facilitator Wendy Smenner, mother of two children, one with special needs, knows kids can feel left out when parents spend lots of time and energy with the special needs child. “We try to offer support for the kids. We have plenty of recreational activities so they can let off some steam. This year, we are working on an art event. The kids will portray their siblings and we will have an exhibit for friends and family. We’d also like to create a teen group in the coming months.”

Sibshop meetings are held at the Alternate Learning Center, 3939 Wrenwood Rd.,
Toledo. Ms. Smenner can be reached at (419) 214-3066, or by email at

Sylvania Teacher Receives Award

Anna Schroeder works in Sylvania Schools as a Transition Specialist. She and her team help provide school-based training and work opportunities for students as preparation for their lives after high school. She recently received the 2013 Educator Award from OCALI (Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence) as recognition of her efforts, leadership, and accomplishments in helping improve outcomes for people with autism and low incidence disabilities. Former student Chloe Rothschild, who is also part of the Toledo Area Parent team and manages calendar events for all parenting publications at Adams Street Publishing Co., nominated Schroeder for the award, and journeyed to Columbus to share the presentation with her teacher November 21. Schroeder said, “The Sylvania community is very supportive of providing a variety of internship opportunities for our students, who often obtain paid employment at similar businesses with their peers. I always tell the students that I found my ‘niche,’ my perfect job. Now it’s my turn to help them find theirs.”