Monday, January 30, 2012

Half of Canadian kids with disabilities lack friends

Update: I just read the report and in fact over half the children had either no friends or only one close relationship with a friend (a little different than how it was reported).

A study that looked at the state of inclusion for kids with disabilities in Canada is disturbing and, I'm afraid, rings true in my experience.

André Picard in the Globe hits the mark in his piece about Anne Snowdon's study today, saying:

"In Canada, we talk a good game about integration, about breaking down barriers to allow the inclusion of people with physical and social disabilities in every aspect of daily life. But reality is more stark and harsh."

Some of the stats: 53 per cent of disabled kids have no friends or one close friend. Only 1 per cent spend an hour a day with friends.

"The problem is most serious for boys – who tend to have far more developmental disabilities and fewer social skills – and it gets worse with age," Picard writes. In childhood, efforts are made, but by the time kids hit age 10 or so, when cliques and social circles form outside of parental control, ostracization and isolation is near complete."


Friends of mine in the UK say: The only real disability is lonliness. Visit them at:
THIS is why we need more inclusive schools and communities. Truly inclusive.

This piece feeds into one of my biggest fears - that Aaron is lonely. I'm already getting glimmers of this and he is only eight. We all need to feel beloved...