5 Ways to Stay Socially Connected This Winter
Posted on 11/02/20 in Relationships and Social Skills by Milestones
With the temps dropping and socially distanced gatherings becoming harder to host, seeing those we love and staying socially connected may become a bit of a challenge this winter.
Stay in the loop with your loved ones and keep developing those social skills with some of the following ideas from Milestones Autism Resources.
Come together with online games.
COVID-19 has forced us all to rely on virtual versions of some of our favorite games. Even Milestones staff who are grandparents have been learning to Zoom around the states playing games with their grandchildren who they can’t see in person. Online games are a great activity, especially for teens who may enjoy teaching their family members how to play something they excel at naturally; this provides opportunities for them to build confidence and relationships.
Some of our favorite games to play:
1) Name, Place, Animal, Thing: This popular kids' game works well on Zoom. To play, pick a letter. Each player has to list a famous person's name, a place, an animal and a thing that begins with that letter. The first person to type all their answers into the Zoom chat wins the round!
2) Heads Up!: Heads Up always get the part started. It is a classic word game where players have to describe the word on the screen to the person holding the screen to their forehead. You can choose from a range of categories and play with as many people as you want.
3) Virtual Trivia: Don't let your random knowledge of fun facts get rusty! You can still practice your skills while social distancing. Follow these three easy steps to set up your next trivia night.
Online social groups
Teens and adults (ages 16+) with disabilities should join the Milestones Self-Advocate Discord Social Group and make new virtual friends with common interests.
Interested in arts & crafts? We have an active discussion forum for that, and even a brand new online gallery section to display and discuss your talents! Are video games more your thing? Join us for our scheduled Minecraft and Animal Crossing nights or post in the forum about the other games you’re interested in to find a gaming buddy. Just want a space to casually chat about your successes finding a job, vent about a teacher you just don’t like, or other aspects of daily life? We can relate.
This is a group made by self-advocates for self-advocates with an emphasis on safety and creating a bully-free zone. Just because we can’t get together face to face, doesn’t mean you can’t make new friends! Check out this page for info on how to sign up and the upcoming activity schedule.
Find online learning opportunities.
There are so many free educational resources becoming available online. Milestones Autism Resources is providing free virtual workshops for you to access when it is most convenient. Last month, we hosted a series about making connections with people in your family's life to expand upon your own community of support (super timely, right?). This series offered many strategies to build a reliable community around your loved one, even during this sociall distanced time. Here are some simple ideas straight from the series for some Thanksgiving fun:
1) Have your child help make Thanksgiving cards to drop at each neighbor’s mailbox wishing them a happy, healthy holiday.
2) Have your teen with ASD invite other neighborhood peers to help rake leaves in yards of elderly residents.
These small acts will help your family and child with ASD be more known and valued as a good neighbor and therefore, enhance your own community support network.
Register for our OFN workshops here!
Check the Milestones Community Calendar
Make sure you are still visiting the Milestones Community Calendar!. While many programs aren’t meeting face-to-face, many organizations have gotten creative about delivering their services to community members. Other agencies are providing some services in person, which can be of benefit to many children and teens who are more severely impacted by ASD. Parent support groups like Mother2Mother are still running virtually, so take time to look through the calendar for activities and events you can still participate in.
Need individualized support or guidance to help your family stay connected this winter? Contact the Milestones free autism Helpdesk at 216.464.7600 ext. 200 today.