Skip navigation

Calls to Action

Enrichment for the Special Needs Community of Teenagers and Adults

United States

Connection of Friends (COF) opened in October of 2012 to provide a place for participants with special needs, ages 16 and older, to engage in social, life skill, volunteer and recreational activities on a daily basis. Our population includes but is not limited to individuals with Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Seizure Disorders and other intellectual disabilities serving the Western Suburbs including Wheaton, Warrenville, Winfield, Naperville, Glen Ellyn, Downers Grove and Lisle.

Programming at Connection of Friends reinforces vocational and life skill programs taught within the educational system and offer our participants the opportunity to engage within the community and develop peer relationships. Weekly programming emphasizes heavily on routine so participants know what to expect whether they participate every day or only a few days a week. Connection of Friends operates Monday through Friday on a set hourly time frame. The only time Connection of Friends is closed is during traditional holidays. Examples of daily programming include:

1. Planning and preparing a daily meal
2. Volunteering in the community, (People’s Resource Center, Glen Ellyn Food Pantry, DuPage
3. Convalescent Center and Central DuPage Hospital)
4. Art Programming with a retired special education art teacher Music Therapy
5. Participating in daily exercise/yoga
6. Gardening vegetables for consumption and donation to Peoples Resource Center
7. Participating in guided discussions with our nutritionist

• Food Pyramid • Healthy Taste Test • Eat This Not That • Healthy Recipe Card Swap

8. Saturday Night Socials

To facilitate success for our participants, Connection of Friends relies heavily on visual schedules which are made available to all our participants for those needing extra support.