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We all have relationships with other people throughout our entire lives.
This information sheet is designed to help you understand the different aspects of developing social interactions, making friends and having relationships.
Taking part in sports and other group activities can provide a good opportunity to meet people with similar interests.
“If you don’t try and hide your disability it will help you make friends.
People may be suspicious if you try and hide it and it might make them think you’re ashamed of it. If you talk about your disability when you meet people it helps them relax”.
The majority of people who completed the survey were single.
For many people with hemiplegia it is other people’s attitudes that limit their choices, although on the positive side some people reported that things are now better than when they were younger.
Making and keeping relationships can present challenges for people with hemiplegia.
But all relationships go through periods of change and challenge.
There are all kinds of relationships, including the most important one of all, which is with yourself!
Aristotle said that “wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.” Relationships matter.
When they work well they are a vital source of support and protection against life’s stresses and strains.
“Older teens and adults are less focused on the disability and more focused on the person.” Some people with hemiplegia have similar difficulties to those with autism spectrum disorders in reading other people’s reactions and feelings, a common enough aspect of hemiplegia that affects the ability to make and keep friends.
Nevertheless the typical answers in the survey suggest that many people with hemiplegia do have a social life, friends, a partner and a family.