This family created a friendship group called The Amigos around their daughter, who is fully included in her primary school.
Erosha Bakmiwewa created a friendship group called The Amigos around her daughter Sethmi, who is fully included in her primary school. She explains how difficult it was to first start a friendship circle because of the emotional involvement. But it’s been well worth the challenges, and the experience has been very rewarding for Sethmi.
Amigos have done many activities together. These have helped to bond the friendships. These activities created many opportunities for Sethmi to be engaged in typical activities with friends of the same age.
Erosha also found that it was evident that many families appreciated and wanted these connections for their own children. Most of all it was rewarding to see that being an Amigo was valued by everyone in the group.
Amigos was first led by Erosha and then subsequently by a support person. It is a fairly unstructured session around lunchtime once a week. The group does activities that everyone likes, such as cookie decorating, playing games, dancing, and craft.
Some important takeaway messages from this group were:
- Everyone involved had a clear idea of what the group was about
- It was helpful to base the group members and activities on common interests
- It takes family involvement and leadership to steer the group