Posts Tagged ‘peer group’

Parents are constantly asking me if I know of any “groups” that their child on the spectrum can take part in.  These parents often tell me that they’ve looked high and low and cannot seem to find anything but a monthly parent support group or something infrequent to that effect. When I did my own search,  I found that they were completely right!


My challenge to all parents, therapists, teachers, and other involved is to vocalize this need to others and take action. Connect with other parents and create your own weekly meet-up. Social interaction and skill-building groups do not need to happen under the watchful eye of a professional, they can happen with a few parents sipping coffee at the park while their children play on the swing set (or look over the shoulder of another playing their DS). However, THEY NEED TO HAPPEN.

Take the following steps:

1. Compile a list of all of the children you work with who you believe could benefit from/outwardly are asking for more social interaction (friends).

2. Go to each parent/caregiver and ask if they would be interested in putting their name and number on a list with other families who are interested in getting their child more supportive and present peer experiences (this also provides the opportunity for families to connect with one another for support).

3. Help set up the first meeting at someone’s home/park/restaurant/place of interest.

4. Ask parents to have their child bring one object of interest (Nintendo DS, book about space, favorite train,etc) to help spark interactions around areas of similar interest.

5. Accept that at first, simply being around other peers is benefiting your child/student/client’s social-emotional development and that real relationships will form later.

6. Sit back and be amazed at how many others wanted/searched endlessly for the same thing and congratulate yourself for being an agent of change in your child’s life.

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