When a person has a disability, it might seem impossible to them that they could ever be independent and live out on their own. However, thanks to advancements made in technology and programs designed specifically for the developmentally disabled, it can definitely happen. Adults with cerebral palsy are more independent today than ever before, and believe it or not, making friendships is the best place to start. Studies reveal that one of the best independent living resources for teens and young adults with cerebral palsy is to learn how to make and maintain friendships. All Friends Network was launched as a supportive cerebral palsy network for young adults with developmental disabilities. Online resources, a Live-LINK interactive app, and real-life events are just some of the ways that we plan on helping our members to live more independently and make lifelong friendships.
What Does Independence Look Like to You?
Everyone’s idea of independence is unique. For some, being able to go out with friends for a pizza and a movie is their ideal scenario of being independent. For others, getting a job or moving out into their own apartment or with a roommate might be the perfect display of independence. Whatever it is that you want to do, it all boils down to learning how to communicate with others and developing social skills. Learning how to speak for yourself and be heard by someone else, making friendships outside of school and your immediate family’s social circle, taking control over the direction you want to go in your life – these are all examples of independence.
There are different degrees of disability, and, in some situations, moving out on your own might not be possible. However, you can enjoy the amount of freedom that you are able to safely and securely through the All Friends Network. Planned social events, including trips to zoos and museums, gatherings with other members, and online networking via the Live-LINK app, can all provide you with the opportunities you need to take that first step moving forward. Young adults with cerebral palsy often find themselves at a crossroads when they prepare to leave high school and move onto adulthood. Unless they have plans on going to college, getting a job, or doing something else with their lives, what do they have to look forward to in the coming years? Independent living resources are so important to help individuals find their own degree of independence to create a life that is more fulfilling.
Tools and Resources That Can Help
Another way that young adults with cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities can get out into the world and be more independent is to take advantage of new technology. Assistive technology can be helpful in supplementing their ability to do the things that they want to do, and service deliveries make it possible to get errands and shopping done without being dependent on family members or friends. The more independence one gains, the more confidence, and pride they have in themselves. If this is something that you want for yourself, you should definitely go out and get it. Disabled people now have the opportunity to do many of the same things that no-disabled people can do, but it helps to have the support of friends who can encourage you to do it on your own.
All Friends Network is a non-profit Corporation within the state of Florida located in downtown Sarasota. Many unique resources and opportunities are currently in the works for our members. The Live-LINK app is available to members-only and is a great tool that can be used to communicate with other members and access our resources online. It is a safe and friendly environment with the focus on meeting new friends, cultivating relationships, enhancing life skills, and preparing for a more meaningfully independent and productive life. If you would like to learn more about our community engagement opportunities, independent living resources, and events for young adults with cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities, contact our team directly by calling 941-587-7172 or reaching out to our staff via the online contact form on our website.