Being a Friend

  • "To support a person with facial difference, look them in the eyes and smile at them."
  • Invite your classmate or friend with a facial difference to join you in regular activities with friends and family.
  • Before offering food or treats, ask them what they like or what they can have.
  • Listen to what they say.
  • If you want to ask them them questions about what's wrong, first ask if it is alright to ask questions.
  • If you aren't sure how to act around them, ask them what is OK.
  • Treat your classmate or friend with a facial difference the same way you would like to be treated.
  • Remember to smile when you look at them and talk with them!

Helping Children Make Friends

  • Help children practice social skills, such as appropriate questioning, complimenting, and listening.
  • Partner with other parents to provide transportation for after-school events and activities.
  • Work with schools to prevent and limit bullying and teasing.
  • Provide and encourage opportunities for integrated activities, for children with or without disabilities or differences.
  • Encourage children to ask parents or teachers about what makes people different, and what people have in common.
  • Help children do research to answer their own questions about other's difference, and discuss with them what they learn.

Resources Consulted in Writing

For Patients, Parents, Friends and Kids Illness and Disability - One of my friends has an illness or disability:

Abide: Illness Etiquette II ~ How to visit a sick friend:

APA Help Center - Featured Topics - "Resilience Guide"

Good Character: Teaching Guide: Being Friends, for grades K-5: Dealing with a Serious Illness: Advice from Grant:

Lutfiyya, Zana Marie. The Importance of Friendships Between People With and Without Mental Retardation:> OR <

So Close: How to be Good Friends with an Infertile:

United Spinal Association: Disability Etiquette (by Judy Cohen):

For Health Care Providers

Beaune L, Forrest CR, Keith L. Adolescents' perspectives on living and growing up with Treacher Collins syndrome: a qualitative study. Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2004 Jul;41(4):343-50.

Center for Human Policy: Publications and Resources: Friendships / Relationships:

Cook, Jonathan. Facilitating Friendships for Children with Disabilities. Focal Point 15(2) Fall, 2001:

Haring TG, Breen CG. A peer-mediated social network intervention to enhance the social integration of persons with moderate and severe disabilities. J Appl Behav Anal. 1992 Summer; 25(2): 319-333.

Lyons, Renee. Personal Relationships, Illness, and Disability. Journal of Leisurability 26(3) Summer 1999:

Schleien, Stuart; Green, Frederick; Stone, Charlsena. Making Friends Within Inclusive Community Recreation Programs Journal of Leisurability 26(3) Summer 1999: