Edit ModuleShow Tags

How to Plan an Inclusive Playdate

Here's how to help friends of children with special needs play together safely.



(page 1 of 2)

Friends of children with special needs need to know a few things before they play together. A mom of a daughter with special needs shares five steps toward planning up a successful inclusive playdate.

We knew early on that my older daughter would be visually impaired and I was concerned how this would affect her socially. “I just don’t want anyone to be mean to her, to make her feel less than or alone,” I confided to her vision teacher.

“Kids don’t see differences like adults do,” she assured me. “They just want to play.”

As my daughter got older — and more disabilities emerged — I saw how other kids loved playing with her. Many times, they referred to her as “the baby,” even if they were the same age or younger, because she requires so much care. “Little people don’t see barriers,” says Debra McCarthy, a New Jersey-based speech therapist. “Playing together is very natural for them.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in six American children have one or more developmental disabilities or delays. In the past, kids with special needs were shut away in institutions or kept inside their homes. Today, thanks to inclusion classrooms and adaptive playgrounds, typically developing children are often side by side with children with special needs. So why not have playdates as well?

Here’s a five-step primer on how to plan a successful inclusive playdate.

1. Speak with the child’s parent or caregiver.

All parents touch base to arrange the specifics of a play date. Use this opportunity to get a few more details. Find out what activities the child likes to do and if there are any you should avoid. Noisy environments are not a good choice for a child with sensory issues, for example. And a child nourished by feeding tube might get bored watching yours eat a snack. If the parent seems nervous, invite her along.

2. Choose the venue.

Some kids with physical disabilities use bulky equipment (like walkers and standers) that are not always easy to transport. If this is the case, ask the parent if it is easier to play at her house or at a nearby adaptive playground (click here for a list of inclusive playgrounds in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and South Jersey).

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

The Opiod Addiction Epidemic in Our Communities

This second piece of a two-part series on opioid use offers resources for those suffering from drug addiction and tips on how to keep kids from using in the first place.

Should Your Gifted Child Skip a Grade?

Get expert insights on how to determine whether your advanced learner would benefit from skipping a grade.

Books That Inspire Curiosity & Creativity

Pique your child's curiosity and imagination with these titles. An added bonus: a book for parents on how to raise a can-do kid!

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags


MK Memo

MK Memo: Moms Know
Mommy Brain

Mommy Brain

What causes moms to be forgetful, and how can you get your brain back?

Comments

Book Review: Passing the Bone: America's Next Pup of the United States

Book Review: Passing the Bone: America's Next Pup of the United States

This adorable children's book explains the transition from one POTUS to another but with a twist — here POTUS refers to the first Pup of the United States.

Comments

More Fun Facts About the Presidents

More Fun Facts About the Presidents

Get the facts about some of the earliest presidential elections in U.S. history.

Comments

An Overview of PoliticalFest in Philly

An Overview of PoliticalFest in Philly

Kid blogger Sarah Hullihen provides an overview of what you can see at PoliticalFest.

Comments

Fun Facts About a Few Presidents

Fun Facts About a Few Presidents

Learn some fascinating trivia about three past presidents of the United States from kid blogger Sarah Hullihen.

Comments

{/if}