Learn how these individuals were able to growing their social connections and friendships.
In creating a person-centered future plan, the individual and family should think about the relationships that are important in the person’s life. In what ways can they help keep the person with an intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) connected to people in the community? When making and maintaining social connections, it is important to connect with people that care about and share interests with the person with I/DD. The key is to take steps to help the person with I/DD have meaningful relationships.
Maintaining Social Connections
Keep the person connected with family, friends, and with their local faith community or church if this applies. It’s also important to help the person build good relationships with people he or she trusts.
Here are some questions to consider when including social networks in a future plan for the person with I/DD:
- What does he or she like to do during the day?
- Who are the people he or she likes to spend time with?
- What are the important events and activities that brighten his or her life on a daily/weekly/monthly/annual basis?
- What groups or activities is he or she already a part of (faith community, sports team/club, music, art class, fitness, gardening group, ski club, etc.)?
- What community and recreational activities are available?
- Who will help ensure daily activities are still part of the person’s life after the caregiver is gone? Find tips on how to help the person cope with grief and loss.
Chapters of The Arc in your area may run social or recreational programs. They can also help with identifying state and local community activities, such as interest-based clubs.