Some children just want to be with their friends in their free time, and some kids (those with more severe cognitive delays or involved physical impairments, for example) may not be well-suited for typical extracurricular activities. Consider creating an extracurricular activity that will meet the needs of your child.
Form a Social Group
Contact other families to establish a group. Have a basic plan in mind, but brainstorm with other parents as well.
When setting up the planning meeting pick an evening or weekend time so more people can attend. Even though you will meet to plan activities for your children, ask that the kids stay home during this planning time.
Set the Schedule
Establishing a schedule is a solid step in getting your social group off the ground. If families know that the social group will be every Saturday afternoon, they can plan their schedules accordingly.
Choose a Location
Where the social groups will meet largely depends on the group's activity and the physical needs of the participants. Suppose that you are planning a movie night and most of the attendees use wheelchairs. Having the movie night in someone's home is not practical. Instead, contact a community center, church, or school to see if you can use a room for the event.
As much as possible, have the event in the same location every time. With a designated place and time, you will eliminate the risk of someone not knowing where to go or showing up on the wrong day.
Occasionally, you may want the social group to go on outings. Make flyers well in advance of the outing so that every family has the needed information. An e-mail reminder the day before is also a good idea.
When setting up your group, consider how your child and his friends will be able to voice their opinions. Will they be able to vote on the next movie? Will they be able to select the refreshments from several choices? Allowing them to be a part of the planning empowers them to be more independent.
Who Will Do What
You may be the organizing force behind your child's social group, but for the group to really take off and remain stable, you will need others to help you. Take time at the organizational meeting to divide up the work. You will likely need the following:
Special events and outings planner
At first, your social group may not be large enough to need one person (or a group) for each job. Doubling up on the work until the group grows is a good way to get the ball rolling.