Friends Connect: Social Thinking Skills Groups, Oceanside NY
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About the founder and facilitator of Friends Connect, Donna Heit-Katz

  • Over 25 years of teaching experience within the NYC Department of Education; working with children classified with Learning Disabilities, Emotional Disturbances, Speech and Language Impairments, Hearing Impairments, Other Health Impairments and Social Cognitive Challenges
  • M.S. Degree in Learning Disabilities
  • Completed American Sign Language Interpreter Program
  • Special Education Liaison and IEP teacher
  • Staff Trainer
  • Successfully completed training in both the Wilson Reading Program and the Orton Gillingham Approach to Reading and Writing
  • Implements the Lindamood Bell Processes within her Resource Room
  • Successfully completed the mentor training program at the Social Thinking® Center in San Jose, California
  • Recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award, representing District 21

It was apparent after working with young members of her own family and throughout her teaching career, Donna Heit-Katz noticed a tremendous need for a more tailored approach to social thinking skills. These children who were performing near, at, or even above grade level were slipping through the "cracks of the system" socially. There weren't any appropriate programs that could address the needs of these children, teens and young adults. What would happen to them as they got older, and still didn't possess the skills necessary to initiate and maintain friendships, become involved in intimate relationships, become employed, live independently, and attend college? Friends Connect was created for these reasons and more.