Publications marked with this symbol are available for DSV members to borrow from the DSV Resource Library.

Jeanne d’Haem (2008) Special at school but lonely at home: an alternative friendship group for adolescents with Down syndrome Down Syndrome Research and Practice Vol 12 issue 2
Excellent article which looks at some of the issues associated with friendship for adolescents (and beyond), and describes an initiative to move the ‘circle of friends’ concept into local community, based on the notion that friends are people you have something in common with, not necessarily people your own age.

Couwenhoven, Terri (2007) ‘Friendships and dating’, ch 10 (and relevant activity sheets) Teaching children with Down syndrome about their bodies, boundaries and sexuality Woodbine House
Outlines the basic premises which support relationships, how to recognise different sorts of relationship, and steps to planning an activity with a friend or group of friends. Includes cameo of a friendship group.

Dennis McGuire & Brian Chicoine (2006) ‘Peer relations’ in chapter 7 Self-esteem and self-image, ‘Mental Wellness in Adults with Down Syndrome’ pp 132-136
Excerpt discussing the importance of relationships with others with disabilities and suggestions for encouraging these.

Buckley, Sue et al (2002) ‘Social understanding, friendships and relationships’ in Social development for individuals with Down syndrome – an overview Down Syndrome Educational Trust pp 5-19

Down Syndrome Association of New South Wales (1999) ‘Friendships’ in Talk to me A personal development manual for women and girls with Down syndrome, and their parents pp 84-107 (parent notes pp 11-13)
Plain language text and worksheet activities which explicitly teach friendship skills including what is a friend, making new friends, making friendships work. Intended for girls but could also be useful for boys – the focus is more directed to the way girls relate to each other.

About Circle of Friends

Interactive Collaborative Autism Network (ICAN) Circle of friends. What is it?

Beach Center Circle of friends. Invite them
Readable description of a circle of friends set up around a young person with Down syndrome.

Friendships in school

Fae Kennish (1987) ‘Friendship’ in Developing inclusive school communities – strategies for parents pp 32-35

Stephanie Lorenz (1998) ‘Circles of friends’ in Children with Down’s syndrome. A guide for teachers and learning support assistants in mainstream primary and secondary schools pp 74-78

Recommended reading

Staub, Debbie (1998) Delicate threads: friendships between children with and without special needs in inclusive settings Woodbine House

Perske, Robert and Martha (1988) Circles of friends: People with disabilities and their friends enrich the lives of one another Abingdon Press

Colin Newton & Derek Wilson (2009) Creating circles of friends. A peer support and inclusion workbook Inclusive Solutions

Carol Tashie, Susan Shapiro-Barnard & Zach Rossetti (2009) Seeing the charade. What we need to do and undo to make friendships happen Inclusion Press

Cathy Ludlum (2009) One Candle Power. Seven principles that enhance the lives of people with disabilities and their communities Inclusion Press

Marianna Csoti (2000) People skills for young adults Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London