Circle of Friends (COF) is a non-profit organization that was started to help promote friendships between children with autism and other children with and without special needs.
COF was founded in January 2002 by two families with teenagers with autism and five high school students. The parents of children with disabilities desired for their children to having meaningful friendships both with other children with autism and other developmental disabilities as well as peers who are typically-developing.
From a humble start of two students with autism and five students without special needs, Circle of Friends has grown to a program that serves 30 adults and children with special needs and 45 high school students without special needs, 16 adult volunteers, and two college interns.
The group began meeting at Grace Fellowship Church in Rowland Heights but was relocated to a bigger church to accommodate the growing community of the organization.
COF not only serves children but also adults with special needs and their families, in order to accommodate and bridge the gap between the growing population of those with special needs and their communities.