How the NDIS can help you make and keep friends

04 September 2019

Friends can be a wonderful part of our lives, enabling us to share fun times and activities together, as well as sharing our troubles.

This month we’re looking at how our two participants, Milly and Bob, used their NDIS funding towards their goals around making and keeping friends.

Remember, your goals and funding might be very different to Bob and Milly’s, because your NDIS goals and plan will be based on what is important to YOU.

But, have a read, and you might get some ideas!

Meet Milly - at the beginning of her plan.

 

Hi, I’m Milly and I’m 19. I have quite a few friends at TAFE, at my job and at Learning & Lifestyle. I also have lots of hobbies and interests – dancing, horse riding and swimming – to name a few!

Milly’s goal was: “I want to be able to better manage my social life with my friends so I can keep my friendships.”

These are the steps Milly took to achieve her goal:

  1. Milly is outgoing and confident with quite a few friends in different areas of her life. Though she loves to be busy and doing lots of things, Milly can sometimes get a bit overwhelmed because she has so much going on. She also has anxiety and worries that she has upset her friends because she is not able to spend as much time with them as they might like.

  2.  

  3. Milly talked to her support coordinator about what supports she could access to help her achieve her goal and maintain her friendships without getting overwhelmed or feeling too anxious.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Coordination of supports
    Support item > Coordination of supports

  4.  

  5. Milly’s support coordinator suggests she might need some help with her time management skills as she has a very full life which can lead to her feel overwhelmed. She arranges a session with an Occupational Therapist who discusses with Milly what her week currently looks like.

  6.  

  7. Milly’s occupational therapist discovers that Milly often spends a couple of hours a night on social media. They agree that Milly could reduce this time to one hour per night one or two days a week, which would give her an extra hour to spend relaxing and catching up with a friend.

  8.  

  9. They draw up a schedule of what Milly’s new week will look like and plan out which friend she will invite to catch up each week.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Improved Daily Living,
    Support item > Individual Assessment, Therapy And/Or Training (Includes Assistive Technology)

  10.  

  11. Milly has funding in her plan for Individual Counselling for her to see a psychologist to help her manage her anxiety when it arises. Her psychologist works with Milly to put together a plan for the types of things she can do when she is feeling overwhelmed.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Improved daily living skills,
    Support item > Individual counselling.

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  13. Milly has one friend in particular, Sarah, who gets annoyed with Milly when she can’t see her as often when she would like. Milly talks to the psychologist about this and explains that she that she does want to be friends with Sarah but her other friends and activities are also important to her. The psychologist reassures Milly it is ok to say no, and together they work out some things she can say to Sarah if Sarah gets annoyed with Milly.

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  15. Milly and her support coordinator have also spoken to the manager of the day centre about what they might be able to do to help with friendships and how to be a good friend. The manager has had a few similar requests from others and agrees to hold some life skills training at the centre on managing relationships, including the right to say no.

    What you could use from your plan:

    Support category > Assistance with community participation,
    Support item > Group Based Activities In A Centre - Flat - Weekday Daytime

    OR:

    Support category > increased social and community participation
    Support item> skills development in a group

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  17. After a few months, Milly feels much more confident. She’s always had quite a few friends but she feels much better able to manage her time so she can see them, to manage her anxiety and also to be clear with her friends about the time she has available to see them, without feeling guilty. This has left her feeling much happier and positive about her relationships and even her friendship with Sarah has strengthened as a result!

Meet Bob - at the beginning of his plan.

 

Hello, I’m Bob. I work at Endeavour Industries and I’m 45. I live with my Mum and Dad. I have a few friends at work but I find it a bit tricky and I can get a bit frustrated with other people some times. I spend quite a lot of time by myself and don’t have many hobbies.

Bob’s goal was: “I’d like to make some new friends and try some new activities with them”.

  1. Bob’s support coordinator talks to Bob about his goal and the types of activities and fun things he might like to do.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Coordination of supports
    Support item > Coordination of supports

  2.  

  3. Bob has a couple of great ideas, but first the support coordinator talks to him about building his social skills a bit. Bob can find it difficult to make friends and is keen to get some help with this and to think carefully about what makes a good friend. The support coordinator arranges some social skills development for Bob to help him with this.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Improved relationships
    Support item > Individual Social Skills Development

  4.  

  5. Bob also sometimes needs some support in dealing with his emotions. Sometimes when people get on his nerves or say things he doesn’t like he can get very frustrated or angry. Bob’s support coordinator arranges for some positive behaviour support so that Bob is able to find better ways to deal with his frustrations and find it easier to make and keep friends.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Improved relationships
    Support item > Specialist Behaviour Intervention Support

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  7. Bob says he’d quite like to try playing pool. He’s only played once before but enjoyed it and he’d like to give it another go. A support worker, Rick, is organised to take Bob to his local pool hall on a Saturday night. Rick happens to be a bit of a pool whizz and is able to teach Bob how to play

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  9. Bob soon gets to know a few of the other players who play every Saturday night and shares a bit of a laugh with them. Bob can be quite competitive and is determined to improve his game. After another month Bob’s game has improved and he’s invited to join the pool hall’s team. Bob is totally stoked to be part of a team!

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Assistance with social and community participation
    Support item > Access Community, Social and Recreation Activities

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  11. Bob also really likes board games and he’s really good at them. It’s a fun thing to do and everyone is focussed on the activity so he doesn’t have to think of things to talk about. Plus, Bob does like a competition!

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  13. Bob’s support coordinator is able to find a local board game group on Meet Up that takes place on a Thursday evening at a room in the local pub. Bob goes along with a different support worker, Andrew. It seems Bob is not the only big board game fan, with Dungeons and Dragons being a favourite in the group.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Assistance with social and community participation
    Support item > Access Community, Social and Recreation Activities

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  15. Some months later Bob is playing pool twice a week including practice and has got to know all the others on the team much better. His best friend on the pool team is called James and they sometimes get together outside of pool these days too.

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  17. Because Bob is competitive he does still get a bit angry and frustrated at times, but the positive behaviour support has helped him to deal with his emotions a lot better. He’s also able to go back again if he needs to.

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  19. Bob has also forged some good friendships with his fellow board gamers at the Meet Up. Bob is third on the group leader board and they all have a laugh joking with each other about how long it will take them to get to number one!

Contact us to find out how we can support you

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