ADVANCING SOCIAL MOBILITY AND EQUITY FOR NEURODIVERSE YOUTH THROUGH SHARED EXPERIENCES AND PEER SUPPORT
The Friendship Factor was founded on the simple premise that we all need friends, whatever labels we have been given, however awkward our needs. Especially those who are facing developmental challenges, misunderstood, underserved, and vulnerable to discrimination and harm. The role friendships plays throughout our lives is important, multi-faceted and profound and ALL children deserve to develop reciprocal relationships that prepare them for life.
To develop and expand an immersive approach to raising resilient and empathetic children while advancing the neurodiverse community through the
*4-Pillar Program of
1) Play it Forward
2) Snack & Chat
3) Join & Learn
4) Relax & Reset
To create inclusive and caring communities to foster friendships and opportunities that transcend differences and abilities.
Our Core Values
Inclusion - Empathy - Diversity - Resilience - Community - Mental Well-Being
Equity - Friendship – Belonging
“Where friendships are fostered."
Our *4-Pillar Program
What makes us different?
PLAY it FORWARD
We believe play is a necessary ingredient for individual and communal balance. Beyond enabling us to better deal with individual and social requirements, it provides us with adaptive flexibilities, and openness to explore the unexpected. By equipping children of all abilities with inclusive, natural, and sensory environments, and the skills to play together more independently, children feel nurtured, encouraged, and respected during play-both physically and socially-thereby creating a
sense of harmony and community among themselves.
SNACK & CHAT
Food brings us together; it shapes our memories and empowers our communities. Eating together provides a multitude of benefits such as being more mindful of what we are eating, more openness to new foods and allowing for opportunity to bond with others over a pleasurable event. Thus, creating a sense of belonging and
connection with a focus on enjoying each other’s company.
JOIN & LEARN
A meaningful, and fresh method for inclusion. It works by creating the intention to build relationships around shared interests, experiences and peer cultural affiliations and activities. Similar skills and techniques to that of “Circle Time” are employed to promote important social interaction among a small group of children. Engaging storytelling, art projects, life events, presents opportunity for a range of developmental skills to be explored through group participation and exchange of ideas, collaboration, and support.
RELAX & RESET
Understanding the value of calm and self-control, we practice mindfulness utilizing visualization, affirmations, rhythmic music, and breathing techniques, allowing the children to have a little time to spend with themselves and explore an inner world of peace, tranquility, and reflection. By teaching kids to decompress and be mindful, we are empowering them with tools to cope with stress and challenging moments, but also to reflect and cherish good times and joyful memories.
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