Socialising

Not a happy, happy topic but one very relevant to people with learning disabilities. So, we avoid socialising. I don’t mean that in a “we don’t want to see anybody” way. Rather I mean it in a “this would be way too stressful all round” kind of way. Jude can’t cope with social situations so unless my mum can look after him for a few hours then the answer to a social invitation is normally no. If it’s an activity that doesn’t involve sitting and chatting or conforming in some way then we’ll often give it a go but I normally arrive with a sense of dread at how he’ll behave or how he’ll be perceived. I’m actually ashamed of caring what people think and lots of times Jude surprises me and we have a great time. However the stress of the entire scenario often beats me. Jude chats to everyone which actually is really lovely and nearly everyone chats back. But what will happen when he isn’t a (kind of) cute 10 year old boy? Will he be bullied every time he goes out or will he be lucky and meet only nice people. I have started to investigate local, social settings where he will be comfortable and won’t feel like a weirdo and have found a few useful links…I’ll pick one each week and put it up for you all to see. Today’s –

Earthworks in St. Albans is an organisation I love and hope Jude will want to be part of when he’s over 16. Check it out – www.earthworksstalbans.co.uk

The council run quite a lot of activities and I’ve recently signed Jude up for adventure activities for a few hours each month. When he’s older the activity options lessen (drastically) but I hope to leave Jude enough (not just in terms of money but content too) to keep him busy and occupied for when myself and Joe are no longer around.

This following article scares me.

www.mencap.org.uk/news/article/stuck-home

I’m going to make a concerted effort to involve Jude in as much as possible over the next few years so he doesn’t find things scary as an adult. So I’m sorry if I have appeared unsocial over the last 10 years but it’s not so simple going out with a disabled child. Must try harder. Does anyone have an good, bad or funny social stories? A xx

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