Who We Serve
SNAP Club serves high-functioning individuals with ASD or Asperger’s Syndrome in middle school, high school and young adults to age 25. While these individuals can be non-verbal they must, at a minimum, demonstrate some communication skills such as responding to directions (with accommodations). At this time, we do not serve individuals with emotional disturbance or a history of violence or running away.
Typically, what we hear from new parents who are considering our program is that the child has few or no social interactions with friends outside of school and structured activities like Challenger Baseball. Starting unprompted conversations, taking turns with others,and/or working with a less preferred partner in an activity are still difficult social challenges. New parents tell us that while the student may be appropriately placed academically there are distinct lags in social skill development especially when high-functioning teens with ASD or Asperger’s are grouped with same-age peers. When we hear a child’s story that starts like this…we know that SNAP Club is a great option.
Offer structured opportunities for social enjoyment which assists participants to slowly and assuredly develop friendships and achieve greater social tolerance of other individuals and environments through increased success in managing social challenges.
Enable participants to successfully generalize appropriate social interaction and enjoyment skills to support increased independence in managing the social component of both educational and work environments.
SNAP Club is part of The Center for Teens and Adults with Autism which was established in 2007 by Richmond House, a local 501(c) 3 non-profit (www.richmondhouse.org).
SNAP Club (formerly known as Friendship Groups) has offered three small, professionally facilitated weekly group activity sessions individuals ASD or Asperger’s Syndrome since 2008. Since 2003, Richmond House has successfully operated a group home for adults with ASD and Asperger’s Syndrome.
In developing SNAP Club, we have drawn from many years of experience in working with adults at our Richmond House group home. Our group home residents are successfully managing the challenges of work, education endeavors and “living in the real world” so we can see firsthand the importance of the development of social enjoyment skills in the workplace. From working at the SPCA, to Ruby Tuesday’s to Krispy Kreme, all of the adults at Richmond House group home are currently working in the community.
Additionally, we have gained new ideas and insights from the recently published book, Social Enjoyment Groups for Children, Teens and Young Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorders: Guiding Towards Growth by John Merges (available on Amazon).
“For the first time in his 22 years, Andrew has a group of friends. He enjoys their company, and he looks forward to being with them every week. He gets to have his friends over to his house, as well as visiting at his friends’ homes. This is the first time this has happened. Because there is a facilitator, the kids aren’t just at loose ends to figure out what to do with each other.They have a routine, an agenda, and comfortable activities to do with each other. It provides the friendship without the tension of trying to figure out what to do. Andrew has developed great affection for his friends, as well as empathy for them.”
Mary, parent of Andrew who has attended SNAP Club weekly since 2008
“I cannot put words to how much our friendship group has meant to Philip and myself. He has a group of friends that truly love and help each other when they are together. If one has a birthday, they get together to go bowling and celebrate. We mothers are also united in friendship and love. We are also there for each other and help when needed. Some of us are single parents and need extra help with driving to and from and my friends help me out without hesitation. Philip and I are very blessed to have such a great group of friends. I always prayed that Phillip would at least have one friend…no he has many. I’m thankful for this as he gets older and his needs change he will have a group of friends who will be with him in life.”
Tina, parent of Philip who has attended SNAP Club since 2008
I like playing games and being with my friends. I like having them come to my home yeah! It is nice to have friends. I have fun.”
Philip, who has attended SNAP Club since 2008
Volunteers and Staff
We are always seeking volunteers to help assist with SNAP Club and we are also constantly on the lookout for individuals who are interested in facilitating our small groups.
Email us today for more information:
| SNAP CLUB PROGRAMS
Weekly Small Group Sessions
These year-round small group sessions help participants practice social enjoyment skills in small steps on a routine basis with lots of repetition and practice. We meet once a week for 1.5 hours. The meeting place, time and new group placements will be determined by our staff and based on the profiles of interested participants. The cost of weekly sessions varies according to the size of the group but is generally about $75 per month.
Monthly Large Group Sessions:
Friday Y Nights
Friday Y Nights are held at the Shady Grove YMCA Teen Center which is equipped with pool tables, ping pong, foosball, air hockey tables, a Wii/Xbox room, TV and over-stuffed couches and chairs. Participants interact with various ages in order to practice and generalize the developing social enjoyment.
Pre-registration with a confirmation is required so we can plan staffing. Participants do not have to be in small groups to participant in Friday Y Nights. New participants who we have not yet met with and evaluated in-person must have a parent/guardian attend Friday Y Night. All participants must provide a signed application and waiver prior to participation.
Please click on the links below to download your forms:
CLICK HERE for Participant Registration Form
CLICK HERE for Waiver & Consent Form
Join Us for Friday Y Nights
On the Second Friday of Each Month
6:30 pm to 8 pm
Fee is $10 per participant
(Pre-registering with a confirmation is required
so we can plan staffing)
Email for more information:
Email us to inquire about registering for Y Night or for our weekly small groups. Pre-registration with a confirmation is required so we can plan staffing. Participants do not have to be in small groups to participate in Friday Y Nights. New participants, who have not yet met with us and been evaluated in person, must have a parent/guardian attend Friday Y Night. All participants must provide a signed application and waiver prior to partication.
Measure of Success
We have developed a series of benchmarks for social enjoyment and interaction skills. Increased confidence with and mastery of these skills require repetition, time and patience but the SNAP Club has documented success with our current participants. Here is a sampling of the goals that we aspire to for our participants:
- Laugh/smile in response to external stimuli (ie peer telling joke, something amusing happening during a game)
- Starts an unprompted, spontaneous conversation
- Responds in a timely manner to questions asked by staff and peers
- Follows directions on first request
- Able to work with non-preferred peer (no complaints)
- Communicates needs/desires/thoughts/experiences to peers and staff
- Able to choose preferred items/activities
- Willing to participate in non-preferred activities
All are welcome at the Friday Y Nights (please pre-register), but our weekly small groups will require some screening and placement since these groups need the right balance and synergies to be successful. Please be patient with us as we develop new small groups from referrals. That said, if you already have a group of participants assembled we are happy to meet with you and we are willing to provide our facilitators to help with the group.
Email for more information: