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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Human Services

Mission: Empowering teens and their families to achieve social success.

Programs: Social groups lynchpin is a local non-profit social learning community for students with autism and their families, located in yakima, wa. We group students with others who share their similar interests. We find this brings an instant trust and mutual respect, providing the perfect foundation to build social skills. Our curriculum is written and presented each week, with the ability to flex with the groups' comprehension and comfort level. Students have a weekly 60 minute session with the social educator, followed by supervised free time. Parents then enter the classroom where the social educator reviews the lesson and gives practical feedback and problem solving. Families share their everyday challenges and feel supported by others who truly understand the magnitude of their everyday world. They are also provided with a handout of the weeks lesson to be shared with additional family members and educators. We're currently offering 7 social groups and serving 50+ students.

friday night teen nights and saturday drop-in programming our drop-in programming provides a safe environment for our students to practice their social skills and join others whom share their similar interests. We provide legos, crafting, table top games, pokmon, drawing, first aid training provided by medical students from pacific northwest osteopathic university and a variety of video games like rock band, guitar hero and just dance. Students are relaxed and welcome to be their authentic selves and thrive in this nurturing environment. We're serving 150 students every week!

mentoring: typically developing peer mentors lynchpin believes that students learn social skills not just through direct teaching, but by being exposed to others who are modeling positive social interactions. Studies have shown that students can improve their social skills by 50% just by being exposed to typically developing peer mentors. We strive for a 1:1 ratio during our drop-in programs at lynchpin as well as having them sprinkled throughout the center. Not only is this a great opportunity for high school and college students to fulfill their community service/volunteer requirements, they're also connecting with students and gaining a new perspective to a world unlike their own. We currently have 20+ students volunteering.

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