Most members are from Nassau and Suffolk counties,
although the Friendship Connection welcomes members from
all over the New York area. We charge a small membership
fee so that people of all income levels can participate.
Members’ ages range from teenagers to adults. Our services
are designed for parents as well as their children. Support
group meetings offer parents the chance to network and
provide an outlet for sharing common concerns and problems
associated with having a developmentally-delayed child.
Discussions revolve around issues such as “empowering”
parenting, how to facilitate independence, survival skills,
stress management and independent living options.
The Friendship Connection provides a therapeutically
challenging and supportive environment that is appropriate
for teens and young adults with a full range of learning
disabilities and social handicaps.
For Bob, age 24, learning and developmental disabilities challenged
his social skills, preventing him from making any quality friendships.
Although he had a full-time job, Bob experienced difficulty with
independence skills and was overly-dependent on his parents.
Similarly, Nicole, a 19-year old attending a local high school, had no
friends or peer relationships outside of her family, due to her social
awkwardness and difficulty processing social cues. In fact, her peers
teased and tormented her, leaving Nicole anxiety-ridden and depressed.
Another 19-year old, Michael, was also teased by his peers because
of his thick glasses and speech impediment. While maintaining
a B-average, Michael was suffering from low self-esteem and high
levels of social anxiety, causing him to avoid most social situations.
David, who was attending a learning disabled program at a local
college, had few peer relationships outside of his family. His dyslexia
and organizational challenges left him unprepared for the stress of
independent functioning. As a result, he avoided socializing to the
point of affecting his health.
At age 19, Julie had a pervasive processing disability that limited her
social skills, social insight and sense of boundaries. While attending
special education classes in school, her few peer relationships where
characterized by much stress and disappointment.
Through weekly recreational activities and trips to places of
interest, members like Bob, Nicole, Michael, David and Julie are
able to improve their social lives and self-esteem, putting an end to
their loneliness and giving them a sense of purpose and hope.
"The only way to be a friend is to be one"
Ralph Valdo Emerson
The Friendship Connection Foundation, Inc.