All children can benefit from socializing with their peers, but it can be challenging for kids with special needs to bond with others. Sometimes they need a little guidance to foster meaningful relationships with children their own age. Fortunately, there are simple ways that parents can help.
If you want to help your special needs child make friends, you should start at his or her school. The staff sees firsthand which children get along well, and teachers can connect you with the parents of other kids who are friendly with your own.
Visiting your child’s teacher to explore socializing opportunities will also give you the chance to discuss the individualized education program that is currently in place. As a parent, you are your child’s strongest advocate when it comes to ensuring his or her academic success, and it is essential that you periodically review the effectiveness of the IEP.
If you have concerns about your child’s IEP, turn to a special needs lawyer from the Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar. Parents have the right to contribute to their child’s IEP, and a New Jersey special needs attorney from our firm will ensure you have a say. Call 973-567-0954 to schedule a consultation.
Read on to learn how you can help your special needs child make friends:
- Host a Birthday Party
You can take the teacher’s word for it when it comes to discussing potential friends for your child, but if you actually want to see how the other kids interact with him or her, consider hosting a birthday party. MyChildWithoutLimits.org encourages parents to look for party guests who go out of their way to include your child and who want to sit next to him or her during various activities. These caring and compassionate individuals could ultimately prove to be lifelong friends.
- Follow Your Child’s Interests
Whether your child loves insects, geology, or mythical creatures, there are ways to find other children who have the same interests. You could try attending events at your local library, visiting a nearby children’s museum, or taking an age-appropriate class at your favorite hobby store.
- Consider Finding New Friends of Your Own
Have you ever thought about joining a support group for parents of kids with special needs? You can help your child make new friends by putting yourself out there and meeting other parents in circumstances similar to yours. Then, when you become comfortable with a new friend, you can schedule a playdate for both of your children.
- Enroll Your Child in Extracurricular Activities
If your child likes art or sports, think about enrolling him or her in an after-school program that offers them. You can also explore extracurricular activities that are not associated with your child’s school. For example, did you know Special Olympics New Jersey has play programs for children as young as 2 years old?
If your child has special needs and you want to ensure he or she succeeds both socially and academically, contact the Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar. Mr. Nachbar is a special needs lawyer in New Jersey who has more than 20 years of experience practicing law. Call 973-567-0954 to schedule a consultation.