How many of your struggle with finding simple social opportunities for your special needs child.
I know there are programs out there like local social skills groups, programs through the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), even places like ARC has local recreation opportunities or Special Olympics. Then there us summer school programs through the school system.
We do all that. All these structure groups are great but when do our kids get to be real kids. When do they get to go outside and play like we used to just riding there bikes and just be kids.
Sure we can set up playdates for our kids, easier when they are young, but as they get older past 3rd grade (or worse 5th grade like my son) kids change, interests change and if your anything like me your child's interests have not changed.
Ok, so...then you say, lets get them to play with kids their developmental age. Hmmm, there's an idea! seems simple enough...right? However, I find that unless you have nieces or nephews or friends with little kids its not that easy to say can my "pre-teen play" with your kindergartner, the typical mom of a 5 year old isn't going to get it. Would they?
So here I am today. I myself shy, comfortable only with handful of friends (if that) and I have a child who struggles socially. I have done everything possible to come out of my comfort zone and get kids to come play with my son. It may last one or two sessions and the kids just don't want to play anymore.
Thankfully, my husband is an out of the box thinker. So I'm posting this idea hoping this may help everyone else out there who struggles with same situations.
We are starting a Saturday play group, open house 2-5. No pressure. I came up with a list of names of "special needs" parents I have met through the years and we will be sending out an invite to all we know that are struggling with same issues.
So far everyone I have given a heads up to is just happy to hear its on a weekend, as weekdays are so hectic with work and therapies etc..and they seem happy to have "special needs parent time" too and a place were you don' t have to explain our child's behaviors. A place where your kids can just be kids and play even if they are parallel playing and doing their own thing.
I have a feeling once this gets off the ground some liquor may be involved down the road us parents.... ;-)
Will keep you posted on the outcome of this NEW group.