Congratulations on the newest addition to your family!

Whether you’re eagerly anticipating the arrival of your baby or have recently welcomed your little one, we’re delighted to welcome you into the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. family. We understand that this journey may stir up a mixture of emotions, and we’re here to accompany you every step of the way. Within our community, you’ll find a welcoming community where you can openly share your thoughts and feelings among those who truly understand. We offer empathy and support, free from any judgment.

We’ve all experienced the rollercoaster of emotions that often accompany a diagnosis. Initially, you might grapple with feelings of grief, mourning the vision you had for your child, denial, or fear – all of which are entirely valid. When confronted with a diagnosis, it’s often difficult to anticipate the positive effects it may have on family dynamics. Yet, research indicates that despite the potential challenges, the vast majority of families raising a child with Down syndrome are resilient, flourishing, and happy.

Wherever you may be along this journey, remember that F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is here to provide unwavering support for you and your family. Please Contact us: at (813)245-2782 or email us at

At F.R.I.E.N.D.S., we welcome new and expectant parents with a Down syndrome diagnosis with our parent tote bag that has vital information, resources, and gifts.

Fill out the form below to request a free parent resource tote bag that includes: resource information, a cute onesie for the baby to wear, and a free copy of the book “Babies with Down Syndrome, A New Parents Guide” by Susan J. Skallerup.

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Parent Connect Program

Our Parent Connect program is a support group for parents of children with Down syndrome and special needs. Parents will have the opportunity to come together to connect, chat, offer emotional support and encouragement, and share experiences and laughter in a child-free environment. Come and join our Parent Connect group to build lasting friendships with others who understand the joys and complexities of raising children with Down syndrome and special needs. By coming together in solidarity, we can find strength, hope, and a sense of belonging on our journey of raising extraordinary children.

Baby F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Program

Our Baby F.R.I.E.N.D.S. program is designed to support children from birth to 5 years old who have special needs, along with their families. Join us to connect with other parents in the same journey, sharing experiences and valuable parenting tips while the children participate in fun activities, creating lasting bonds with each other.

Best F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Program

The Best F.R.I.E.N.D.S. program welcomes children between the ages of 5 and 14 years with special needs and their families. Come join our regular gatherings, where you can expect to find a supportive community and a warm, welcoming environment to connect with friends.

Adult Dance Program

Our monthly adult dances in Clearwater and Riverview offer individuals with special needs a platform to showcase their talents and abilities. It empowers them by boosting their self-confidence and self-esteem, helping them realize their potential beyond perceived limitations. It also creates opportunities for social interaction and friendship, enriching the lives of everyone involved.

Good Vibes Program

Good music, Good F.R.I.E.N.D.S., Good Vibes!

Good Vibes is not just any Zoom music dance party; it’s a virtual gathering designed specifically for individuals with special needs to let loose, express themselves, and connect with others in a fun and inclusive environment.

Through the power of music and movement, attendees are invited to groove, sway, and dance to their heart’s content, regardless of their abilities or challenges.

Our self-advocate Keith is our resident DJ and fills the virtual atmosphere with his electric and upbeat tunes that sets the stage for a celebration of joy and self-expression. Good Vibes also provides an opportunity to socialize and make connections with peers who share similar interests and experiences.

Through laughter, music, and shared moments of pure enjoyment, Good Vibes fosters a sense of community and belonging that transcends physical boundaries.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Sports

We’re thrilled to announce our partnership with North Brandon Youth Baseball park to launch Special Needs Tee Ball teams. Geared towards children ages 5-12, this program offers traditional tee ball with adaptations to accommodate children with disabilities or special needs.

Our focus is on inclusivity, ensuring that every participant can fully enjoy the sport regardless of their abilities. Each child with special needs will be paired with a volunteer buddy who will provide tailored support to help them participate to the best of their ability.

Our goal is to cultivate a positive and supportive environment where every child can experience the joy of playing tee ball and being part of a team. Join us as we create memorable experiences and foster friendship through sports.

Check out our Events page for a list of opportunities to join us!

Tee Ball Scholarship Application

This scholarship is only available for children with special needs. Scholarship is for $50 towards a North Brandon Youth Baseball Tee Ball registration. A total of 10 scholarships are available. Applicants must be 18 or older. Only one application submission per household. The deadline to apply is June 23rd, 2024. Applicants will be selected and notified by the board on June 26th.

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