Developmental Connections is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the needs of students with developmental disabilities and the communities that surround them. The organization was established in 2010 by Michael and Keri Schoenbrun as a way to support schools that serve the complex needs of students with developmental disorders. Its primary focus is to support a critical, but dangerously underfunded need, — social skills development.
Ensuring the Healthy Social Development for All Students
Our world is an incredibly diverse place in terms of ethnicity, religion and ability (physical, intellectual, social, etc.). Regardless of how your student is performing academically, they will inevitably be working in some kind of team or group environment along their journey in life.
At Developmental Connections, we believe students will be more likely to thrive if they are able to effectively collaborate with others. Too often, we focus exclusively on teaching academics and assume effective interactions will happen naturally. For some people, social interaction develops innately. Others might need to be taught how to "think socially." What we know for sure is that in school, and in life, our success depends on our ability to interact with people with varying levels of social ability.
Michelle Garcia Winner, renowned expert and founder of Social Thinking®, shares:
Teachers are reporting to us that as students develop stronger awareness of core Social Thinking vocabulary concepts, they are better able to describe what they are thinking and feeling as well as encourage their peers to think more actively about what others are thinking and feeling. This contributes to more active communication and better conflict resolution. Even though these tools are being taught in the classroom, students take them out the door onto the playground and beyond.
We hope you will join us in partnering with schools to infuse social learning into our students' day, a perfect complement to our academic programs.