Phone: 718.554.1027 Email: info@brooklynautismcenter.org    

Peer Socialization Program

 

BAC FRIENDS

MISSION 
BAC Friends is a volunteer peer socialization after-school program designed to foster an inclusive environment where we enhance social interaction and communication between children with autism and their typically developing peers in a fun, engaging, and inspiring setting.  

VALUES
All children need friends. We aim to create a community of acceptance, a community that better understands autism and embraces diversity.  Everyone is different in their own way and developing good friendships means accepting differences.

BENEFITS OF THE PROGRAM
Peer socialization and play experiences are a vital part of all children’s learning, development and culture. BAC students get the opportunity to learn and practice socialization and communication through interactions with peers.  They are introduced to pro-social communication strategies that enhance social relations inside and outside the school, and reduce feelings of isolation.  They learn attending skills, sharing, initiation, following instructions, social cues, boundaries, and modeling good behavior. They participate in mutually engaging activities that encourage interaction, communication, learning and fun.

The program teaches typically developing peers the unique and complex challenges children on the spectrum experience.  They learn to recognize and accept differences in themselves by identifying their own affinities (strengths or gifts) and their own challenges (weaknesses or disabilities) and recognizing that we are all different in our own way.  They learn mentoring skills, problem solving techniques, how to give direction and reinforcement, and how to manage challenging behavior.  

VOLUNTEER COMMITMENT
Being a volunteer for BAC Friends is a commitment and means accepting the responsibilities to yourself and to the students at the Brooklyn Autism Center that will come to rely on your weekly visits. This program is very important for our students’ growth and we can only make it the best program possible when all volunteers and parents pitch in and honor their responsibilities.

PROGRAM SCHEDULE
The 2019-20 program year runs from late September through mid-May. BAC Friends takes place on Thursdays from 3:30-4:30pm. The runs as 2 semesters: Fall (September through December) AND Spring (January through May).  BAC operates on the NYC Department of Education public school calendar in terms of holidays and breaks.

FALL 2019 SCHEDULE
Thursday, September 26th -- Mandatory Peer Training Week
Thursday, October 3rd
Thursday, October 10th
Thursday, October 17th
Thursday​, October 24th
Thursday​, October 31st
Thursday​, November 7th
Thursday​, November 14th
Thursday​, November 21st
Thursday​, December 5th
Thursday​, December 12th
Thursday
​, December 29th
 

SPRING 2020 SCHEDULE
Thursday, January 16th -- Peer Training/Reflection
Thursday, January 23rd
Thursday, January 30th
Thursday, February 6th
Thursday​, February 13th
Thursday​, February 27th
Thursday​, March 5th
Thursday​, March 12th
Thursday​, April 2nd
Thursday​, April 23rd
Thursday​, April 30th
Thursday​, May 7th

Thursday​, May 14th
Thursday​, May 21st
Thursday​, May 28th

 

For more information about becoming a BAC Friend volunteer, please contact Julie Russell (jrussell@brooklynautismcenter.org). 

   BAC Friends Application