Impact Feature Issue on Supporting the Social Well-Being of Children and Youth with Disabilities

From the Editors

Social well-being is essential to overall health and quality of life for all children, youth, and adults. However, children and youth with disabilities are often at higher risk for experiencing lower levels of social, and related emotional, well-being than their peers without disabilities. They are among those more likely to be bullied and harassed, have a small number of friends, participate in few extracurricular activities, and generally be connected to few people outside their families. This means that the adults in their lives need to be proactive in supporting and strengthening the social well-being of these young people.

This Impact issue brings together a collection of practical and insightful articles related to supporting the social well-being of children and youth with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities in the settings where they live their lives: schools, youth programs, neighborhoods, communities, homes. Its primary focus is on what adults can do to create and sustain environments that contribute to social well-being, rather than social harm, for these young people as well as their peers without disabilities. It includes personal stories of young people, their families and friends; practical strategies for school and community settings; research summaries and profiles of successful programs; and resources for use by educators, families, youth leaders, and others who desire to support the social growth and well-being of all our young people.