Welcome to the Friendship Connection
People with developmental disabilities face many difficulties
throughout their lifetimes—from finding the appropriate
educational setting and identifying support services to making
friends and getting a job.
For the developmentally delayed, social situations can often be
the most painful and troublesome. Social awkwardness, shyness,
inappropriate behavior and problems with motor skills are
common. Chosen last in gym class, laughed at and alienated by
their peers—people with learning disabilities and developmental
problems are often low on the “pecking order” in social
hierarchies. As a result, they may feel tremendous loneliness,
isolation and rejection. Unfortunately, these feelings don’t go
away as they become adults.
The Friendship Connection is a place for developmentally
delayed people to find acceptance, learn social skills, strengthen
motor skills and increase their self-confidence. Above all, our
programs enhance the lives of our members, giving them
something to look forward to and feel good about themselves.
The Friendship Connection Foundation, Inc.
|We know the
Meetings & Trips
Weekly meetings are held on the campus of the New York
Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, NY. With guidance
from professionally-trained social workers and mental health
professionals, the participants decide what the focus of each
meeting will be. Activities which have been very popular are movie
and pizza night, board games, Super Bowl party, gym night, arts
and crafts, and international food night.
In addition to weekly meetings, members come together several
times during the year for day trips. In the past, these outings
have included such fun activities as going to a Broadway show,
bowling, South Street Seaport, a Mets game, and a barbecue at
a county park. Participants also have the opportunity to go on a
three-day weekend trip each year. Destinations have been
Mystic, Connecticut, Washington, DC, Toronto, and even
These recreational activities, offered in a supportive and
therapeutically challenging environment, are designed to meet
the unique social needs of developmentally delayed teens and
young adults. Members learn social skills in an easy-going and
stress-free atmosphere. The meetings and trips help nurture
self-awareness and can spark lasting friendships.
Taken together, these experiences help members gain greater
confidence in social settings, higher self-esteem and lessened
anxiety and fearfulness. For many, the Friendship Connection is
the social highlight of their lives, making a dramatic improvement
in their socialization skills.