Friendships can’t be forced. But there are things we can do to increase the chances of friendships forming.
Janet Klees proposes 5 Ps
Janet Klees is a Canadian expert in building relationships between people with and without disability. She proposes these 5 Ps:
Person – know in depth the interests, skills, and conditions for success around this interest.
Place – find the places in the community where this interest can be shared
Presence – show up at this place at the same time each week
People – support the people in these places to get to know and interact with your family member – a role for support workers.
Purpose – craft a role for your family member in these places around their interests that others will value.
I’ve added my own two Ps
Patience – it can take years to build friendships. Try not to rush things and take your time. Your family member will still be having fun doing the activity they love so it won’t matter if it takes many months or even years for relationships to form.
Persistence – if it’s not working – go back over the 5 Ps above – it’s highly likely that one or more of them isn’t quite working.
Get support to learn and implement this framework to increase the likelihood of your family member with a disability forming friendships.