Meeting New People and Building Friendships

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Meeting New People and Building Friendships

Meeting New People and Building Friendships | LA County Special Education

For many special needs children, it is quite challenging to make new friends. This is particularly true for children who have problems with communication or who struggle in social scenarios. However, the older that children become, the more beneficial it is for them to have strong friendships and a web of interpersonal relationships that keep them grounded and help them remember that they are not alone. These tips will help you work with your child during this time and will give your child the skills necessary to succeed.

Imbue Your Child with Confidence

Children can sense when those around them are fearful or unsure of themselves, and they will quickly pick up on these feelings. On the other hand, when you are confident with your surroundings and with chatting with acquaintances, your child will become surer of themselves. You can also help your child increase his confidence by practicing basic social scenarios, such as greeting acquaintances.

Remain Optimistic

You may not be immediately successful in finding your child a social group that is perfect for him. However, do not give up immediately. Many groups today are very welcoming to special needs children.

Start with School

Usually, the easiest place to start when building friendships is at school, where your child is most likely already somewhat comfortable. Let your child’s teachers know that improved socialization is a priority to you, and they will probably help your child reach out to others.

Increase Social Engagements

Of course, school does not have to be the only place where you can find new social possibilities. Using your creativity, you can find excellent opportunities for your child in your neighborhood, at church, and throughout your community. Consider hosting a block party, a play date, or a picnic as a fun way to get your child involved.

Add in Technology

Not all social interactions need to be done face-to-face. Today, social interactions regularly occur with the help of technology. Your child may prefer to get involved in a virtual friendship because the Internet often makes it easier to find people just like you.

Special needs children often struggle to make friends because they lack self-esteem and have limited interests that would get them into certain social groups. However, friendships can actually improve self-esteem over time by showing these children that they are seen positively by those around them.