The Value of Long-Term Friendships: Developmental Disabilities
For many who have developmental disabilities, overcoming issues concerning making friends and maintaining friendships can be a significant obstacle. Quick friendships, such as those made with individuals at group events with those of a similar age or background, are easy to come by for many. Real life opportunities, such as pizza parties, field trips to local zoos and aquariums, or outings to sporting events, can help to build a foundation for long-term friendships. All Friends Network offers a wide range of resources and options for our members, a program that continues to grow and expand to best meet the needs of our membership. Our online support network, the Live-LINK APP, and other innovative resources can all be used to your advantage as you grow your skills and develop new ones.
Friendship and Depression Challenges
Two of the most common developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy and autism, can make it difficult to make friends and grow lifelong relationships. These skills are essential for building a successful life as a young adult, especially when independent living is a primary goal. For many, the physical disabilities of cerebral palsy are not the most challenging aspects that many people face, but instead learning how to interact with others and maintain long-term friendships are what stand in their way the most. Wanting to do what everyone else does, such as hanging out with friends, participating in activities, and going to group events is an admirable goal that can lead to many other benefits.
Our online support network is designed to give our members the basic skills and resources they need to learn how to build and maintain friendships. Starting conversations, having mutually beneficial discussions, and developing the ability to express thoughts, opinions, and interact successfully with others can help you in many different aspects of your lives. Getting a job, participating in a club or group program, and be a part of your local community all begins with learning how to communicate with others. Studies show that the more people interact with other people, the less likely they are to have issues with friendship and depression. The confidence and support that comes from these relationships can help to push us to do more, be more, and have more in our day-to-day lives.
Long-Term Friendships and Disabilities
It is even more important for someone who has a physical or developmental disability to maintain strong and supportive friendships. These relationships provide us with the means and opportunity to have someone to talk to that understands us and supports us, no matter what. Friends who have similar backgrounds, interests, hobbies, and even disabilities, can make us to feel even more secure. Studies show that this is essential to our mental and emotional health. Disabilities can make it challenging to see friends on a regular basis, which is why we created the All Friends Network online support network. Even when things are difficult, chatting online or via the Live-LINK social network, can make things a lot easier, especially when things get tough.
For true friends, meetings don’t always need to be planned or on a large scale. A simple cup of coffee, a trip to the local mall, a stroll through the park – these are all extremely doable things that can be done without much prior planning. If you have a physical disability, your friends might be able to help you get out more. Whether that means encouragement or actual assistance in getting from point A to point B, it becomes easy to see the connection between friendship and depression. To learn more about all of the resources, programs, events, and opportunities available at All Friends Network, contact our team directly by calling 941-587-7172. We can answer any questions you might have, help you to join our membership program, and assist you in getting online with our Live-LINK social network service.