"The road to raising a child with significant special needs is challenging, isolating, frightening and difficult at most every turn. Though most parents would jump through rings of fire to make life easier for their child, oftentimes many things are outside of our control. We try to make life stable, happy and routine for our amazing children but resources to integrate them into social situations are often few and far between and rarely publicized…which is what makes them feel so isolated and lonely. A few months back, I was lucky enough to come across a local community program called The Friendship Circle, which advertised many different programs for special needs individuals that had great appeal to my daughter’s strengths and desires. Her biggest desire was that of making a true friend…someone who would accept her just as she was. From hip hop class, to music therapy to an amazing “friends at home” program, one program sounded more appealing than the next and I was so thrilled, I had to re-read the advertisement numerous times. The idea behind these programs was to pair up special needs children with typical peers within the community to and forge acceptance and friendships, which as simple as it sounds, was something so difficult to find. This organization opened up a world to my daughter that put a smile on her face and she began to look forward to her time at these activities but most importantly, her time with her new friend(s).

The Friendship Circle’s “Friends at Home” program has by far been the most fantastic experience for my daughter, as the teen she was lucky enough to be paired with really understood her from day one, smiled from ear to ear when spending time with her and opened up a world of acceptance and pure joy for her. My daughter was paired up with an amazing teenager named Ashley and together, they have forged a beautiful relationship and it by far one of the greatest gifts she has received during her young life. Ashley comes over to our house and spends time dancing, playing, laughing and becoming closer and closer each time they are together. If someone had told me that this opportunity would present itself to my daughter, I wouldn’t have dared dreamed it possible. Since meeting Ashley (and her amazing family), my daughter has smiled more, played more and felt better about herself and no longer feels lonely. The words “thank you” don’t even scratch the surface for my sincere gratitude to the Friendship Circle for creating such a program and for opening my daughter’s world up to such a beautiful relationship that she has found in Ashley Sukoff. Ashley is the ultimate example of a good and kind human being who respects my daughter and loves her for exactly who she is.

If you haven’t heard of this organization and you have a child with special needs, do yourself a favor and research them and their multitude of amazing programs. From one mom to another, it will be the BEST gift you can give to your child."

- Jenn Forte


"My son had a wonderful time with his new friend! She is so kind and patient. I hope she continues to play with him."


"Max has been a great friend to my 10 year old son. He looks forward to seeing Max every week and they really enjoy hanging out together.. Max is so kind and patient as a mentor for my son. "

- A Very Happy Mom

"Our buddy is great. I asked her to get my son away from the computer and do other things such as games. She brings different games all the time and they watch movies or play hide and seek. I think we have been with the program for about 4 years.
Our first buddy still calls and comes over when he is home from college, and we all think of him as a friend. For him, it wasn’t something to just put on his resume but making a real friendship with my son. He has been a mentor and a great example.
The program has helped my son to be more social and find different activities that are fun. My son has enjoyed the program and has gotten a lot out of it."

- Mom of a buddy with The Friends at Home for the past 4 years!

"My second grader waits for her "friends" to come and have a "play date" with her. Together, they play different board games, enjoy eating snacks and just talking. My daughter's self esteem get elevated, by knowing there are girls who want to play with her each week! Our family is very thankful for the Friends at Home program."

- A Very Happy Family

"Jacob LOVES Brandon, thank you so much. He is an incredible child, so patient, so compassionate. We could not have asked for anyone so kind as Brandon and his family. Truly a pleasure. We are so grateful for the match up."

- Mom of a Friends at Home friend

"All is good with the girls, they were over last night and they lit the candles and played dreidle. I am very impressed with both girls because they are both on Varsity sports and they still find time with homework, and sports to still be able to come over every week."

- Mom of a Friends at Home buddy

"The boys are getting along great. My son is always very excited to see him!"

-Happy Parent of The Friends at Home program



Interested in having a buddy come to your home to become a friend to your child? Please email [email protected] for more information about The Friends at Home program where we can have friendship and FUN!