Adults with learning disabilities, autism or ADHD can have trouble finding friends and mates who share their interests. Here are some practical suggestions from some of the talented Los Angeles professionals who work with special needs individuals.
The keys are getting out into the community and doing things you really enjoy! Get involved in activities you enjoy, because you will meet other adults who share your passions and a friendship can result.
Take courses you are interested in at junior college or vocational college. See a career counselor if you have trouble finding your dream career.
Volunteer for an organization you believe in, including YMCA, YWCA, Rotary, Habitat for Humanity or the local domestic violence shelter. When you find a cause or a person who needs you, you truly realize you make a difference, and it will boost your self-esteem.
Organize a mini-reunion for your high school special education class. You may reconnect with old friends.
Organizations with social activities:
Independent Living Center—various social opportunities
Unrecables—Sports and Recreation
UCLA Recreation Adaptive & Aquatics Program hosts sporting events—contact Jamie Hoffman, (310) 825-1059
Social skills groups in the Los Angeles area for adults who want to improve their social skills
Lilyan W.J. Campbell, M.S., LMFT—innovative adaptive skills training program for children, adolescents and adults with developmental delays, (310) 456-4937.
Suzanne Tabachnik and Kelly Priest. LA-social thinking.com
Dr. Esther Hess—social skills and support group for young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome and/or ADHD.
Linda Andron – Ostrow, FACT.
Dr. Bruce Gale, PhD—conducts adult social skills group programs.
Licia Paskay, MS, CCC-SLP, COM (Speech-Lang. Pathologist)— social language skills training and adult social groups.
Chris Mulligan, Groupworks West—social skills groups for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD.
Practical dating strategies from Mr. Jason Thomas, licensed educational psychologist.
Learn about the kinds of problems that can get in the way of relationships from Nicole Archambault Besson, ASHA board certified speech-language pathologist.