circle of friends

Recently I was introduced to the concept of circle of friends a concept that intrigued me and then later the kind of upset me.

The Basics of the Concept
Basically, the idea is that the child’s current supports, teachers parents and other professionals, in trying to create a sense of normal friendships for the child in question approach the child’s peers and explain what life is like for that child and then ask who wants to be a part of the child’s circle of friends (this is all done with the child’s consent and knowledge but not child present at first) The idea is to have a group of circle of friends meet once a week with an adult there to help discussions about brain storming etc. of social activities behavioral issues and other concerns of what the child in question and their peers. The child in question is present for all these meetings the idea is to use these as the basis to build upon friendships.
Why This Upsets Me
Having been that child once I was always keenly aware when the adults around me were trying to force social interaction from my peers. The friends I have, were not forced but naturally developed over time. I understand that circle of friends is to help start the friendships but it feels extremely forced me and had been given an opportunity as a child I’m not sure how I wouldn’t responded but as the adult I am now, looking back that probably would reject the concept for myself.

Now for today’s poll

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About lifeofthedifferentlyabled

Laura Forde founded her blog through my eyes: my life with cerebral palsy in December 2009 out of a great need she had, realizing that there was a vast gap in firsthand accounts of what life was like living with Cerebral Palsy: she knew then that the only way to see this reflected online was to create the change herself and thus this blog was born Laura was born four months premature, weighing a mere one pound three ounces and given ten percent odds for survival. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three. After graduating from college, she continued writing and doing what she loves to do most; speaking to groups about her life experiences and sharing what she has learned from her journey. Her blog lifeofthedifferentlyabled was created after discovering that the online community lacked the voice of people in her situation. In its first year, the site saw over 20,000 hits from all over the world. Her readers are from all walks of life; some with disabilities, parents of children, professionals, and others who seek to gain a better understanding of the world of the differently abled. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook

Comments

circle of friends — 4 Comments

  1. Great post! I think the idea of the circle of friends concept is to make the child with a disability feel less isolated but it ends up drawing attention to the difference when there need not be any attention drawn to it. The other kids will notice anyway and it should be up to the disabled child to share information and answer questions about their disability or not. If for some reason the child is not able to speak, I still feel it is more respectful to the child if the nature of their disability is discussed in their presence. In this way other children will see that the child with a disability is a real person.

  2. The concept of the phrase, circle of friends has a different meaning to me. Although there were parents who would try to force social interaction, most kept their noses out of their kid’s business of making friends except for a few talks with the kid on how to pick good friends. Circle of friends meant that the kid with his/her friends would get together and invite a new kid into the group. The idea was for the kids to make their circle of friends larger, not the parent, teachers, or any other adult.

  3. Personally I believe that friendship can’t be established by telling someone that go get acquainted that boy/girl. It takes mutual understanding & feelings. That’s true for both children & adult. Thanks.

  4. Agreed. You can never impose friendship. It always follows its natural course. Imposing it may create opposite result.

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