Phone: 718.554.1027 Email:    

Peer Socialization Program



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.  

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.

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.  

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.

The 2018-19 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.

Thursday, September 27th -- Mandatory Peer Training Week
Thursday, October 4th
Thursday, October 11th
Thursday, October 18th
Thursday​, October 25th
Thursday​, November 1st
Thursday​, November 8th
Thursday​, November 15th
Thursday​, November 29th
Thursday​, December 6th
Thursday​, December 13th
​, December 20th


Thursday, January 17th -- Peer Training/Reflection

Thursday, January 24th

Thursday, January 31st
Thursday, February 7th
Thursday​, February 14th
Thursday​, February 28th
Thursday​, March 7th
Thursday​, March 14th
Thursday​, April 4th
Thursday​, April 11th
Thursday​, April 18th
Thursday​, May 2nd

Thursday​, May 9th
Thursday​, May 16th
Thursday​, May 23rd
​, May 30th

For more information about becoming a BAC Friend volunteer, please contact Julie Russell ( 

   BAC Friends Application