Friendships: The Lunch Bunch

The beginning of a friendship is innocent and fun. But as time goes on and we let down our guard we have to learn to accept others, faults and all or choose to move on. For a person with Down syndrome or other special needs, it is sometimes difficult to even begin the process. Others may not know how to begin the friendship with your child and you may need to step in to help. 

Last week’s suggestion was to volunteer in your child’s classroom so you can get to know the other students. Once you have gotten to know the students, you will get to see who interacts well with your child. Now you need to see how the children interact in a more social setting. Talk to your child’s teacher and principal about setting up a “Lunch Bunch.” Every month (or whatever works for your schedule) have your child choose a couple of classmates (no more than 5) to have lunch with. If possible have the lunch in a classroom or area that is away from the noisy cafeteria. Bring in some of your child’s favorite foods for lunch and don’t forget a snack! This will allow your child to have time to talk with the other children in a more social setting. You can observe this interaction and identify areas you might want to work on with your child. In addition, it will help your child at lunchtime when you are not present. By allowing your child to choose who will attend, it will encourage other children to get to know your child. Make sure all the children are included eventually.

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