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ERIC Number: EJ902291
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0599
Strategies to Enhance the Social Identities and Social Networks of Adolescent Students with Disabilities
Zambo, Debby M.
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v43 n2 p28-35 Nov-Dec 2010
For youth with disabilities, it is good to belong to multiple groups and have multiple identities. Social groups are important to people because they are social creatures. Unless a child has a severe social disability, connecting with others is important, especially during adolescence. Adolescence is the time when young people define themselves by their acquaintances and use their friends for support. Adolescents with friends are more likely to thrive physically, psychologically, and cognitively. All students with disabilities need to see themselves as capable members of multiple groups. Unfortunately, this connectedness is not always the case for adolescents with disabilities, despite the push for inclusion both inside and outside of school. Inclusion was developed to provide social opportunities, but too often adolescents with disabilities are thrown into established social networks with little orientation or support. If adolescents with disabilities fail to become group members, they will not form social identities and they will miss the opportunity to use these identities when challenges arise. In this article, the author provides some strategies to understand social groups and build positive social identities. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
Council for Exceptional Children. 1110 North Glebe Road Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201. Tel: 888-232-7733; Fax: 703-264-9494; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A