Triumph’s PLAY program offers weekly opportunities for social events as well as one-on-one interventions to assist with social skills and community integration. PLAY provides the opportunity for individuals to build close relationships and become involved in the community.
As we continue our discussion of Triumph’s holistic approach to an individual’s life, Triumph’s PLAY program focuses on developing a supportive social network of inclusion for those with developmental disabilities. Social networks and interactions are an important part of EVERYONE’S life, they are the threads that weave our identities and influence how we learn to treat one another.
Science is in support of having a social life. Studies have shown that negative influences on a person due to low or no social contacts include co-morbidity around chronic illness(es), feelings of isolation, and lowered self-esteem. Similarly, the influences of having an established social network leads to improved mental and physical health, a boost to one’s self-esteem, and increased feelings of acceptance and holding social value in the community.
Triumph’s monthly PLAY calendar of events provides a wide array of activities such as meals at restaurants, museums, games, picnics, and other appropriate activities that individuals within the group plan. At least two staff members attend each social to help foster and improve the social skills of participants.
Participants themselves meet once a month to plan the following month’s social activities. The process involves getting suggestions from participants, and Triumph coordinators on potential meeting places and suggested group activities. Once suggestions are written down Participants vote on whether a suggested meeting spot or activity is something they would like to do together as a group. Once chosen, members then decide when they would like to do the social event. Past social activities have included going to the Magic City Art Connection, Top Golf, dinner at Five Guys, Game nights at the Triumph offices, and brunch at The Pancake House (YUM!)
Triumph’s PLAY program expands the social circles of our participants, which leads to increased confidence and competence in forming and solidifying new friendships. Many of our PLAY participants meet outside of Triumph events to keep in touch, go to the movies, or just hang out.
Anyone can join our PLAY Social Group. PLAY offers participants supported engagement, a framework from which to build one’s self-esteem, and safe space to develop social skills.
If you would like to join Triumph’s Social Group visit our PLAY page and fill-out the form at the bottom of the page or send us an email at (firstname.lastname@example.org). A team member will be contact you directly and get you started. We welcome all that are open to make new friends, willing to share their social skills with others, and really, just to have some fun!