Why is community inclusion vital in enhancing your child’s quality of life? We are wired for social connection. These connections are even more rewarding when they occur within age-appropriate social groups. Throughout our lives, we continue to seek out online and in-person communities. Social media has revolutionized our world because it caters to our fundamental need to belong and connect.
We find ourselves spending hours on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, all driven by our insatiable craving for connection and inclusion.
The Impact of Social Inclusion
In 2016, Florida Atlantic University (FAU) recognized the importance of community inclusion and launched the FAU Academy for Community Inclusion, a transformative two-year program. This initiative focuses on developing a range of skills, from employment skills to supported community access and independent living skills.
Practical knowledge is also imparted, including study techniques, time management, soft skills for the workplace, personal finance, and internet safety. But FAU is not alone in this endeavor. Major colleges nationwide are creating academic-based community inclusion programs designed specifically for individuals on the autism spectrum.
To empower students who graduated from high school to navigate life and foster a deep desire for active involvement in their communities. In recent years, schools like Florida International University (FIU) and the University of North Florida have followed suit, recognizing the importance of community inclusion in the lives of their students. These programs represent a significant step in the right direction, yet much work must be done before all residents are fully included in their communities. While the admission criteria may vary from one institution to another, the overarching goal remains the same.
The Value of Social Interactions
Unfortunately, for some individuals on the autism spectrum, life can become isolating after graduating from high school. The absence of close and supportive friendships can have a profound impact, extending beyond one’s social life. Numerous studies have linked loneliness to increased rates of depression and other medical issues.
The significance of forging meaningful connections cannot be overstated. It’s an essential component of a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. The Student Access Services office at your local college or university can be a valuable resource for discovering more about community inclusion programs. The power of community inclusion cannot be understated. It’s a force that can transform lives, providing individuals with a sense of belonging and purpose. As parents and caregivers, we are responsible for championing these initiatives and ensuring our children can thrive within their communities.
Inclusion isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a pathway to a brighter, more interconnected future where everyone can find their rightful place and live their dreams to the fullest.