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Down Syndrome NSW
Level 6/410 Church St, North Parramatta
9am-5pm Monday - Thursday
T: 9841 444

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Library Thursdays: Friendship Resources

Associate Professor Keith McVilly from Deakin University presented a seminar on friendships for people with Down syndrome on the weekend. As well as confirming the importance of friendships for every person and the difficulties faced by people with disabilities making and maintaining friendships, Ass. Prof. McVilly spoke about what friends are and strategies to help friendships occur and prosper. Research has found that the best long term friendships come from school and faith-based communities. He recommends using social stories, finding out what the person is interested in, finding others who share those interests and teaching useful social skills. He spoke about setting up circles of friends and support groups. These work best when initiated from home or in primary schools. He spoke about setting up a register of people and interests to match them. Small groups discussed all these ideas and set everyone thinking about other ways to support and foster friendships. Down Syndrome NSW will be looking at ways in the future to develop and support some of these ideas and inform our members of what others are doing. We look forward to hearing about your plans.

Ass. Prof. McVilly's articles, I get by with a little help from my friends and Self-advocates have the last say on friendships can be borrowed from the library.

Other resources in the library on creating circles of friends and peer support groups include:

Peer Support strategies for improving all students' social lives and learning by Erik W. Carter, Lisa S. Cushing & Craig H. Kennedy (Paul H. Brookes, 2009).
(This book is reviewed by Terri Mauro here)
An article by Erik Carter, Friendship Matters: Fostering Social Relationships in Secondary Schools, TASH, Nov/Dec 2008 can be accessed here.

Peer Buddy Programs: For Successful Secondary School Inclusion by Carolyn Hughes & Erik Carter (Paul H. Brookes, 2009). Setting up and maintaining peer buddy programs in high schools.

Creating Circles of Friends: A Peer support and inclusion workbook and Circles of Friends DVD by Colin Newton (Inclusive Solutions, 2003.)

Inclusive Solutions website also has some articles of interest.

If you would like to borrow any of these resources or any others or want more information, just email or call us.

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