One of the biggest challenges facing young adults with developmental disabilities is learning how to make and build lifelong friendships. It can be difficult for anyone to establish a friendship that will stand the test of time, but even more so when the individual is dealing with a developmental disability. While most babies are learning how to walk, talk, and interact with others at a very young age, children with autism or cerebral palsy often develop at a slower pace. Challenges posed by mobility issues and social communication can make it next to impossible for a child with disabilities to learn how to connect to others on their own.
The goal of All Friends Network is to provide members with an educational, social support network that can give them the opportunities, skills, training, and support necessary to build long-lasting friendships in a safe and friendly environment. As a non-profit social network for developmental disabilities, our focus is on creating online and real-life experiences that will help our members come out of their shells and gain the confidence they need to move beyond a cerebral palsy or autistic friends network and make friends outside of the community.
The Impact of Friendship
While it might not seem to be as essential as other types of treatment and therapy that someone with developmental disabilities needs, the impact of making and keeping friendships goes very deep. Positive socialization in kids with cerebral palsy has been shown to have many diverse benefits and helps these children as young adults to forge long-lasting interpersonal relationships. Instead of feeling excluded by their peers because of physical or social differences, learning positive communication skills and behaviors can help those with developmental disabilities to make a dramatic change in their day-to-day life.
Some of the issues faced by kids with cerebral palsy that can make learning how to build lifelong friendships difficult include hearing loss and vision problems, delays in physical and emotional development, and attention or behavioral deficiencies. Children and young adults with cerebral palsy can also have challenges caused by poor control of the tongue and mouth muscles that affect speech, which can lead to making it difficult to be understood by others and to communicate thoughts and ideas. This can lead to being excluded or feeling excluded by peers in an integrated classroom or playground setting, which can follow them throughout childhood and into adulthood.
A World of Opportunities
When a child or young adult is given a chance to make a positive change through a social network for developmental disabilities, they have the opportunity to turn things around. Family members can provide support by taking time to understand and communicate using the methods that they find most comfortable. This might be hand gestures, communication boards, or applications, which can be used to develop improved communication and language comprehensive skills. Encouraging positive interaction with others and taking steps to support their need to boost friendship-making skills and build lifelong friendships is also helpful.
Joining a cerebral palsy or autistic friends network like All Friends Network also has its benefits. Not only will members be able to communicate with other members via the social support network, but they will also receive training programs and be eligible to participate in real-life gatherings and events to practice their skills. The more you can do to engage, support, and encourage a child or young adult with developmental disabilities, the easier it will be for them to have the courage to learn and have the confidence to interact with others. Studies show that positive social development activities can make life-changing results and provide valuable skills that can be used in a number of beneficial ways.
Contact All Friends Network
If you would like to learn more about our social network for developmental disabilities so you can get the skills necessary to build lifelong friendships and communicate more effectively, give us a call at 941-587-7172. You can also email us directly via firstname.lastname@example.org or use our handy online contact form to reach out to a team member. We can answer any questions you might have about our social support network for individuals with cerebral palsy, autism, and other developmental disabilities. Call today to get on our mailing list and be informed of future events and opportunities.