The Importance of Choices and Friends

Most people do not think about what their life would be like with no one to talk to or no way of making friends. What if you didn’t have a job? What if you didn’t have any way of making your own friends? What if you had no control over where you went or what you did?
This is something that is a reality for most of our participants. They are told what to wear, when to eat, what they’re eating, when they are going to the doctor, when to get up, when to go to bed. For most of our participants everything in their lives is planned for them.
Here at the Eastside Explorers and The Courts fitness and Enrichment programs, we give our friends their voices back. As soon as they enter the doors at their program they are asked what they want to do. What club do you want to participate in today? Our friends are asked if they want to explore their community that day and where they would like to go that week. Our participants are asked what they want their day at their program to look like every day they attend.
Most of our participants have difficulty making friends and maintaining those relationships. Our team work with each person and assist them in areas like making friends, healthy boundaries, what is the difference between talking with a friend and talking with a stranger? What are positive things to say to our friends and what are not so positive things to say? What is appropriate personal space? With the guidance of the team everyone is shown how to maintain a healthy positive relationship with each other.
Having access to places for socialization and the ability to make choices for yourself can be life changing. It can turn around depression, it can ease anxiety and it gives a person self-worth and builds confidence. These are just a few of the things that I have personally witnessed from participants that attend our socialization program.
Do you have someone you love with a disability sitting at home and falling into depression and anxiety? Do you have someone sitting at home bored and just want to get out and have some fun? Please give me a call. We want to help! We love having a good time and I personally live for those life changing moments.

Warm Regards,

Tonnya Garthe
Program Director