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Description: In this presentation, we will explore how we can support the family system from a positive, strengths-based framework for developing family skills to increase capacity. We will take a special look at the sibling relationship for individuals with IDD and how a systemic and strengths-based approach affirms the needs of all individuals within the family system.

Learning objectives: By end of the presentation, participants will be able to

  1. Identify the unique strengths and needs of families supporting children with IDD.
  2. List proactive strategies for support that can be implemented in the home or community settings.

Headshot of Maggie RobbinsTrainers: Maggie Robbins, RDT, is the Clinical Director for NC START Central where she has loved working since 2017. She is a Registered Drama Therapist and loves infusing creative arts therapy with the core principles of START, especially positive psychology and PERMA. As the Clinical Director at NC START, Maggie provides training and consultation on topics related to supporting individuals from a Trauma Informed and Positive Psychology lens. Maggie’s top strengths are perspective, fairness, kindness, love and humor.


Headshot of Eileen SladeEileen Slade, LCSW, is the assistant director of NC START Central, where she engages in systemic crisis prevention and intervention work for children and adults with I/DD. She received her MSW from UNC Chapel Hill in 2013 and has been doing various kinds of social work in the I/DD field since. She is a sibling of a person with I/DD, which informs her passion for developing inclusive, accessible, and neurodiversity-affirming social environments.



  • Burke, Meghan, Chung eun Lee, 2020, “Siblings of People with IDD: A Look Across the Lifespan”
  • Holingue, C., Kalb, L. G., Klein, A., & Beasley, J. B. (2020). Experiences with the mental health service system of family caregivers of individuals with an intellectual/developmental disability referred to START. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 58(5), 379–392.
  • Magaña, S., Dababnah, S., Xu, Y., & Garcia Torres, M. (2021). Prevention science and research in intellectual and developmental disabilities cultural adaptations of a parent training program for families of children with ASD/IDD: Parents taking action. International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities, , 263-300. doi:10.1016/bs.irrdd.2021.07.005
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