Day 92: Autism Awareness Day

Since today is World Autism Awareness day, I thought I'd do something a little different. Instead of writing about a small business, I'm writing about a local, small non-profit organization. Although the larger charities generally get the most press (and have the most advertising dollars), I wanted to bring awareness to a relatively new organization for special needs and autism: Connection of Friends

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Let me be clear, I am by no means an expert on autism. I don't have a child that is autistic, nor would I ever presume to understand what daily life is like for those who do. What I do know is that this is the world for several friends, their children, my niece, and nephew. And, while most of them are young enough to receive assistance and therapy through school, there will come a day- too soon- when they "age out" of these resources.

This is where Connection of Friends begins. Created by two grandparents of special needs grandchildren, Connection of Friends fills a void when other resources end. Unfortunately, most programs end when the child reaches high school, and there are very few organizations teaching life and social skills for those with special needs over the age of 16.

More than education, Connection of Friends provides a source of recreation, community, and friendship: offering programs in meal preparation, volunteering, art & music therapy, gardening, fitness, and field trips.

Connection of Friends has nearly reached its two year anniversary, but it has already enriched the lives of participants and the community.

While small businesses need our support, so do our small organizations. Whether you have time, money, or goods to donate, I know they appreciate the support. They even have an online store where proceeds benefit their programs.

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