Developmental Service Worker

Fostering Friendship Skills in Clients After DSW Courses

September 29, 2017

woman smiling with client

The need for friendship and social interaction is natural and universal. Children and adults who have developmental disabilities are no different. However, they may find making quality friendships more challenging, because the skills needed to form quality friendships might not always come as easily. As a result, individuals with developmental disabilities may need guidance from caring developmental service workers in order to foster skills that will allow them to form mutual and respectful friendships.

If you’re interested in a career that allows you to empower individuals with disabilities to live happy and fulfilling lives, read on to learn how to help those with developmental disabilities form friendships.

Help Your Clients Understand Everyday Conversation After DSW Courses

At the beginning and throughout a friendship, the ability to have a respectful, two-way conversation is important. Clients with a developmental disability may need help learning what topics are appropriate for everyday conversation. Learning about boundaries, privacy, and what topics are appropriate to talk about will help your clients have appropriate discussions with their peers and work towards building quality friendships.

For example, after DSW courses, you may explain to clients that good topics to talk about when meeting someone new could be the weather, the person’s last vacation, or what subject they like in school.

Teach Your Clients About Appropriate Personal Space After DSW Courses

Teaching your clients the proper amount of space to leave between them and a stranger, a new friend, or a close friend is important to ensure their social interactions are comfortable and respectful.

It’s also important to note that some of your clients may be more sensitive to other people standing closely to them or touching them. Therefore, having conversations with your clients about what personal space means can help them develop good boundaries with new friends. In addition, it can be helpful to also talk about appropriate and consensual touch from a friend, such as a high five, hug or a pat on the back. By helping your clients understand that these gestures are a positive sign of support and care will help them remain relaxed in social situations with friends.dsw with childin wheelchair

Teaching your clients about personal space and friendly touch will help them form friendships

Explain What a Positive Friendship Is After DSW Courses

Unfortunately, individuals who have developmental disabilities may be at risk of being taken advantage of. That’s why after developmental service worker school, you can discuss with your clients what constitutes a good friendship. In this way, you can help them foster friendships that are positive.

For instance, it is important to explain to your client that if someone is nice to them when they aren’t around other people, but ignores them when they are in a group setting, then that person might not be a true friend. On the other hand, someone who includes them and invites them to play or socialize with a group of friends is someone who is a good friend.

By helping your clients develop friendship skills, you can help them live happy and fulfilling lives, form lasting friendships, and set them on a path towards success.

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