Looking for a place to meet people and make friends?
If you are 18 or older, this may be an opportunity for you!
People with developmental disabilities and autism often struggle to establish meaningful friendships, romance, and companionship with their peers. When a child comes home from their school or day program, that is often it. They watch TV alone, they eat alone, they go to bed alone. They are there with their family, or group house-mates, with little in common they have no one to chat with on the phone, and no one to call their BFF.
The BFF Project provides an opportunity to increase the social pool for people with autism and developmental disabilities in a relaxed, person-centered and non-stressful manner. There is no pressure to participate until someone is ready and that may be the second or third time they participate. Some folks that have attended are quiet and observant during their first meeting, then the second or third time they come, they blossom into social butterflies! This event is all about their likes! They can wear what they choose, they are able to talk about planes, trains, and Disney all night if that is what they like to with others who enjoy that too! Tools and preparation are used to help the participants identify like-minded friends in a comfortable, no-pressure manner.
Participants are encouraged to bring items of interest that they may share with others in attendance. This helps increase their comfort, the interaction and generates the interest of other participants.
Parents and supporters come but do not actively participate; we recruit volunteers to support participants and to facilitate interaction. If your participant is only able to be at ease with you at their side, we welcome you to join the table as well! Otherwise, supporters must remain on site during the event, unless, the individual transports themselves. Supporters should also meet us at the door at 8:15 pm to pick up their participant.
When? Where? We are expanding! Please check the PHP calendar for the date, time, and location that works for you.
Cost? Zero for participants
Registration? Yes, it is required that participants register each time they attend. See the PHP calendar to sign up.
Volunteer Participate in our meetings! We are looking for young adults to become peer mentors to help facilitate breakout sessions during the events. Meetings are currently all online, via Zoom, so you can join from anywhere. Training is available. For more information, contact Sunshine@php.com.