The F.R.I.E.N.D.S. program was a program that tried to do just what the name said; to encourage friendship through Further Recreational Integration Emphasizing Needed Developemental Skills. The program did not receive any government funding.
The idea of the program was to take the 'challenged' child and to integrate them into the mainstream. Instead of building and designing programs around these children, the idea was to find a program that already existed. By finding the interest of the child, the idea was to integate the child into that program that already was in place.
This would often involve extra help and assistance with the child and many volunteers have to be thanked for their assistance in this.
By placing the 'challenged' child in with the other children, the challenged child was no longer segragated into their own world. The non-challenged child was also able to lose their fear of the unknown. All the children were the same. They all did things together.
I believe this program was discontinued in 1992 or 3.
Go to 'The Long Story'
Thanks for taking time to find out what the FRIENDS progam was.