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Recreation and Socialization

Making friends and participating in recreational activities is important for your child—just as it is for all children. However, you may have to work a little harder to make sure your child has these opportunities. Here are some suggestions that may help you and your child with socializing:

  • Meet other families in your neighborhood and at your child’s school. Attend school events such as open houses and parent meetings.
  • Invite children and their families to play and do things with your family, such as gathering at your home or meeting at the park. While the children play, you can enjoy a few minutes to talk with other parents.
  • Talk to your child about what it means to be a friend. Encourage your child to introduce him or herself, smile, and shake hands.
  • Work with your child’s teachers to help your child develop friendships in school.
  • Participate in community recreation programs. Work with staff at the program to develop and carry out any accommodations your child might need.

Your child may want to connect with another child or adult who has a similar disability. Many organizations host support groups and activities for children and youth with special needs. You may also want to encourage your child to visit online communities where children with special needs can talk about their experiences, share ideas, and support each other.

This information is provided in part by the Division of Perinatal, Early Childhood, and Special Health Needs within the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and mass.gov.

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