Sometimes encountering someone who is different than you can be a bit intimidating. I hope that my blog today will help you to meet new people and hopefully make some new friends who are “differently abled”. You'll hear me use this term often as I don't believe the word disabled is a good way to describe people, including myself. Speaking from experience, here are some words of advice when it comes to having or making friends who are differently abled.
Don't address their differences right off the bat. Strike up casual conversation to show that you feel connected to them.
Be patient, some people have trouble communicating how they feel or feel uncomfortable with new people. It may take a decent amount of time to earn their trust.
Don't treat them as though they're any different. The last thing anyone wants is to be talked to or viewed as though they are “too different”.
Do some research if you know their diagnosis. The better you understand how they feel, the better you'll do at making them feel comfortable.
Ask them if they're comfortable with answering questions about themselves. Personally, I'd rather be asked questions than people assuming why I act a certain way. Use good communication skills and try to be honest and polite! Keep things upbeat and carefree!
Have a great week and go out and make some wonderful, unique friends!