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What is a Peer Pal?
A peer pal is a child, age two, three, four or five, that wants to make a new friend in the community. Any child can be a pal.
How does PeerPals.org work?
A parent or guardian starts by submitting an online application. Next, you will be contacted by a member of the PeerPals.org staff to discuss your application and answer any questions you may have about the program. You will then be matched with another local applicant to become pals. We will do our best to make a compatible match, and once it is made the parents of the pals will schedule and hold an independent play date. If your child, or your child’s pal, has a significant disability, we recommend that your first play date be held with professional supervision. For example, if a child receives any in home services from a special education teacher or speech pathologist, you may want to schedule your play date during a session. Larger group play dates have been held and more are being planned. The pals sign up to come together and those events have professional supervision provided. Please be patient. Depending upon where you live, the matching process will take anywhere from one week to several months.
Why should my child be a Peer Pal?
Participating in PeerPals.org will give your child with a disability a support system of typically developing peers upon entering school. Having a typically developing child as a friend, or even as a peer model, is one of the best things for your child.
PeerPals.org gives your child without a disability the opportunity to experience others with different abilities and to develop empathy. It is human nature to fear the unknown or things considered different. By having kids play together over a a period of time before kindergarten, we have the chance to remove this social boundary. PeerPals.org aims to help children see past a person’s limitations and to appreciate that person for who they are instead of only seeing what they are not.
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