Most people view cerebral palsy as a physical disability and don’t understand the way it can affect a person mentally and emotionally. Adults with cerebral palsy will frequently have other developmental disabilities as well, such as autism, which is a social-communication disorder that can make building friendships and sharing emotions with others even more challenging. In fact, studies reveal that those with cerebral palsy have a much higher risk of developing depression and anxiety than individuals without the disability of the same age. As a result, the difficulties that come with creating and maintaining friendships, even inside or out of the disabled community, can further hinder depression, isolation, and anxiety. The positive impact of friendship and depression can make a life-altering change in the life of young adults with cerebral palsy.
A Social Network for Developmental Disabilities
All Friends Network was designed to be an online network for individuals with developmental disabilities, such as cerebral palsy and autism. As children and young adults, people who have cerebral palsy might have difficulty feeling as though they fit in with others. This can be due to their physical disability but is also just as likely due to issues surrounding communication and emotional disabilities. The four primary groups of diseases that can impact a person with cerebral palsy’s ability to control muscle movement include spasticity, dyskinesia, ataxia, and a mixture of more than one type of CP. While friendship and depression continue to be a problem for many adults with cerebral palsy, it is the most common motor disability seen in childhood.
Finding a safe space for individuals with cerebral palsy to communicate with others who have similar disabilities and social skill concerns can help to provide confidence and the opportunity to make and retain lifelong friendships. As a social network for developmental disabilities, All Friends Network seeks to offer resources, support, educational programs, and real life events that can help our members overcome issues that might prevent them from making friends. We understand the power of friendship and depression and seek to provide our members with the tools and opportunities they need to develop the social skills, experience, practice, support, and confidence required to make and maintain friendships.
5 Ways to Build Social Skills
According to developmental disability experts, there are five primary ways to build social skills. These tips can be used for people of all ages, including adults with cerebral palsy. The more you know about how to overcome issues with friendship and depression, the easier it can be to take charge and achieve your goals. Interact with others who share your disabilities, challenges, and hopes for the future on our social network for developmental disabilities. We offer opportunities to members of all ages, with a focus on young adults with cerebral palsy. Real life events are planned to help members to engage while participating in activities that they enjoy.
Step One – Develop Your Own Interests – Take time to learn what you enjoy doing, talking about, and sharing with others. Whether that means sports, hobbies, art, music, or technology, get involved in activities that can help you to really explore your own interests. It will give you something to talk about with others and might even assist you in finding like-minded friendships.
Step Two – Practice Makes Perfect – Well, no one is perfect, but it is important to keep trying and do your very best. Practicing your communications skills, including starting a conversation or speaking with someone brand new, can assist you when you get into a real life potential friend-making situation.
Step Three – Use Technology to Your Advantage – Interact with others via the AFN Live-LINK and All Friends Network resources. Technology can be a great way to learn and practice skills, as long as you are also prepared to use these techniques in real life and not just stay on the computer.
Step Four – Engage in Social Therapy or Training – There are programs out there that can assist you with one-on-one education and support. Don’t overlook the benefits of these services.
Step Five – Go to Real Life Events – When available, get out there and meet other young adults with cerebral palsy or autism. The disabled community can really come together to support each other and create opportunities to assist with friendship and depression.
Interested in joining All Friends Network? Sign up on our website or contact our team directly by calling our Sarasota, Florida office at 941-587-7172. We can answer any questions you might have and assist you in signing up for our membership program and social network for developmental disabilities.