This has been a challenging month as we experienced the loss of one of our students, Dahud. We have offered support to his family and have been joined by grief counselors to help our students, teachers and faculty process this loss. We remember Dahud's big smile and magnetic personality and honor him through our drowning prevention program. 

Despite our heavy hearts, we push forward and are gratified daily by the incredible progress we see in our students and communities. Thank you for being part of Connections and helping us make a difference.

Debra A. Johnson, M.Ed

Principal/Executive Director


Maria DePalma uses adaptive technology to teach reading to K-2nd graders.

Program Spotlight: Adaptive Literacy

Reading and comprehension can be challenging for students with autism, but this skill is critical to learning and self-sufficiency. At Connections, we teach reading the way our kids learn with an adaptive reading program called the Unique Learning System.

This nationally recognized system focuses on phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. It features visual supports that our teachers use to help guide students through lessons and assessments.

Speech therapist Maryann Reilly notes, “Many of our kids are visual learners. The visual supports help them learn and express what they’ve learned. Often with autism, students' receptive language is stronger than their expressive language. Visual supports give them a way to express their comprehension.”

We're so pleased to provide adaptive reading instruction for our students and are proud of the progress they make daily!

Playground Additions!

Our younger students now have new, sensory-friendly equipment to enjoy! We were able to add two new pieces to our playground with the help of volunteers Orlando Ortiz, Francisco Villatoro and Florentino Ortiz who helped construct the pieces. 

Movement is such an important part of a student's day. In fact, research has shown that movement and play enable children to have better attention, focus and communication during academic activities. 

Thank you to those who made this addition possible! Stay tuned as we work to fund and build an adaptive playground for our older students as well. 

Have You Marked Your Calendar?

You won't want to miss the 2023 Connections Gala, which will be an incredible night of celebrating the impact and progress we're making together. Enjoy delicious food, music, dancing, an exciting silent auction and a celebration with other impact makers.

Mark your calendar today and watch for more details coming soon!

Follow Us on Social to Stay in the Loop!

Do you follow us on social yet? If not, take one minute to do so now so that you don't miss any news or updates. 


Adopt a Class -- Keep the Progress Going!

Help us break the cycle of teacher-funded classrooms and equip our students for a great year of learning by adopting a class! Our teachers have identified specific needs for their classrooms. You can choose one or more needs to meet, or you can adopt an entire class for the year!

Select a need or class here.

Shop & Raise for Connections on AmazonSmile

Before holiday shopping swings into high gear, please select Connections as your charity on Amazon. By doing so and beginning your shopping through the AmazonSmile link, you can have part of your purchase amount donated to Connections at no cost to you!

Learn more here. 

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