Don Meyer is the Founder of the Sibling Support Project. Don is probably best known for creating Sibshops, lively programs just for young brothers and sisters of kids with special needs. Currently, there are over 475 Sibshops in eight countries. Don also created SibTeen Sib20, and SibNet, online communities for young and adult brothers and sisters which allow thousands of siblings from around the world to connect with their peers.
Don was a founder of the SEFAM (Supporting Extended Family Members) program at the University of Washington, which pioneered services for fathers, siblings, and grandparents of children with special needs.
As a sought-after speaker, Don has conducted hundreds of workshops on siblings, fathers, and grandparents of children with special needs and trainings on the Sibshop model throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland, Iceland, England, Italy, New Zealand, and Japan. (Learn more about the workshops Don is asked to conduct.)
Don is the senior author or editor of seven books:
• Sibshops: Workshops for brothers and sisters of children with special needs;
• Uncommon Fathers: Reflections on Raising a Child with Special Needs;
• Living with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs: a Book for Sibs;
• Views from our Shoes: Growing up with a brother or sister with special needs;
• The Sibling Slam Book;
• Thicker than Water: Essays by Adult Siblings of People with Disabilities; and
• The Sibling Survival Guide: Indispensable Information for Brothers and Sisters of Adults with Disabilities.
Don has been interviewed by numerous news outlets for stories regarding siblings’ concerns including ABC News’ 20/20, Nightline, and World News Tonight; Newsweek; The New York Times; The Washington Post; Newsday; Ladies Home Journal; National Public Radio; and Good Housekeeping.
Don is married to Terry DeLeonardis, a special education preschool teacher and consultant. They have four children.
Attorney Benjamin (Benji) Rubin, Brian’s youngest son, Mitchell’s “little/big” brother, has been a member of the Law Firm since 2010. Benji graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law, Magna Cum Laude, received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, and his Graduate Law Degree, an LLM (Tax), with honors, also from Northwestern University.
Benji is a member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners, a member, by invitation, of the Special Needs Alliance (the national not for profit association of special needs planning attorneys with membership by invitation only), is Chairman of the American Bar Association Special Needs Planning Committee, serves as the President of SIBS (Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters), the Illinois chapter of the national Sibling Leadership Network, an organization of adult siblings of individuals with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities and/or mental illness. Benji is a member and officer (Treasurer) of the Board of Directors of The Arc of Illinois, is a member of the Clearbrook Associate Board, an organization serving more than 8,000 individuals with disabilities, including his brother, Mitchell, serves on the Board of Directors of DayOne PACT, which serves as Trustee of Special Needs Trusts as well as Guardian for individuals with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities and/or mental illness, serves on the Board of Directors of the Foundation of The Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL Foundation), serves on the Advisory Council of Encompass (Encompass in partnership with Jewish Child & Family Services, Jewish United Fund, JVS Chicago, JCC Chicago, Keshet, and The Center for Enriched Living and Center for Independent Futures). Benji is also a Faculty Member for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) on the topic of special needs planning, as well as a Speaker for the American Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association on those topics.
Having Mitchell as a brother profoundly shaped who Benji is today, and thus the type of law he chose to practice. His personal experiences as a sibling offer a unique perspective into the responsibilities that come with caring for a sibling with special needs. Now as an adult, those sometimes present and future responsibilities he has regarding his brother’s care are a concern that he shares with all brothers and sisters of individuals with special needs.