Special needs dating skills
The complexities of building peer relationships, establishing independence and navigating those first dates can be tricky for anyone.
But for kids with disabilities, unique challenges can leave both teens and parents feeling helpless.
“I can’t fix this, but I want to make sure that she has a real life.
It changes from new therapies and endless doctor appointments to finding fun things for her to do, places where she can be accepted and loved for who she is.
To encourage healthy lifestyles, the teens join in fitness activities such as Zumba or dance classes. Emma’s House also provides activities during the summer and on a drop-off basis ( an hour).
To support school assignments, the Emma’s House supervisors work with teens on homework or research projects using computers on site.
Elizondo came up with the idea when her 14-year-old daughter aged out of the afterschool child-care programs available for younger kids.Like the average teen girl, Emma is boy-crazy – which both encourages and frightens her mom, because Emma is also developmentally delayed.“In a sense, you get excited because they are dating and doing a normal teenage thing,” says Debbie Elizondo, her mother.LCE lesson plans identify the resources you'll need to teach each skill and provide outlines of scripts and steps for teaching each lesson.Many also include accompanying fact sheets, worksheets and other activities to support instruction.
More important, though, Emma’s House is a place where teens can hang out with friends, and their parents know they’ll be well cared for.