That feeling…you go to work, you go home. Or you go to school, work and then go home. Or you go to work, church and home. What’s that feeling? It’s what makes you pause and say “I have no social life” and it sucks. Do you really want that for your loved one who has DS? Let’s face it…everybody needs to socialize, it’s just plain healthy. We need the interaction, too much solitude (although it has its purpose) is not good.
What Does Your Loved One Gravitate To?
So, what should your loved one be doing? Well, what are their interests?
- Dancing…dance classes are fun!
- Art…painting, pottery, jewelry making, etc. And if they are doing well in this area, you can even start a business out of it and make some money…that’s always fun!
- Speaking of money…are you business minded? Well, start a business where every month you provide an activity for the teenagers and adults with DS in your area. They get to leave their homes (and their parents/sibling), feel independent and make friends; you get to make some money (you can charge like US$10 per person, depending on the location, cost of living, etc.) and you provide a cooking class, games night, a trip to the beach, movies, museum, a dance party, etc. It’s a win-win!
- Sports…check out the sporting activities available in your city or see if you can get involved in special olympics.
- Theatre Arts…are there any drama clubs nearby? What’s available down at the local theatre(s)?
Just Try It & See What Happens
Just remember that your loved one has to give their input, afterall they will be the one doing the activity. Also, parents/siblings please stay home. Initially you may go with them to scope out the place and the people, BUT as soon as you realize that your loved one is in a safe space, please give them their space to meet friends and socialize and be without you. I know it’s hard, but you will not always be around and your loved one has to have other people in their lives and other relationships. When you do find some good people, thank God and dive right in!
Let’s hear from you. Please share some of your tips for helping our loved ones have a fun social life!