Continuing our series on friendship, the following thoughts on making friends are offered by a parent whose son has significant disabilities.
The topic of friendship for my son poses an interesting discussion. He is non-verbal and on the lower functioning end of the developmental spectrum.
Truthfully, and sadly, I haven’t had making friendships as a goal for my son. He requires a caregiver to be with him where ever he goes. Oftentimes
logistics, lack of energy, and/or lack of time are extra hurdles that
get to be too much. My focus has been on finding activities that he would enjoy, or exist as a part of life.
Two way communication is the beginning of typical friendships and also
what sustains and nurtures it. When that doesn’t exist, then being in
the presence of another for a lengthy and frequent amount of time is the
only way to establish a friendship/relationship.
Currently, my son attends a day program all week, and a bowling peer group monthly, and
I consider his peers there to be his friends, although they have rarely gotten together outside of the
respective events. Outside of these
activities, his best friends are his siblings.