About Us

Our Approach

Our interactive series of workshops for men and women 20 to 30 years old includes group role-plays, art and music. Through a sequential series of classes with benchmarks, the course aims to help young adults in the Hudson Valley move proactively toward independent dating and social connectivity. Each student has their own personal “social coach” with whom they can practice and develop skills outside the classroom setting. Students will learn dating etiquette, techniques for handling disagreements, and skills to negotiate group dynamics in a social context.

Our Team

Debbie Major and Sue OBrien cropped
Debbie Major HV Connecting

Debbie Major

  • Retired CEO of Non-Profit Zylofone
  • Professional Entertainer
  • NYSOTA board member
  • Special Needs advocate
  • Facilitator @ CRVI: Collaborating with administration for cohesive
    community-oriented inclusion for group homes.
  • Parent of two special needs boys
  • Research & admin for Carriage Hill (NYC)
Susanna O'Brien HV Connecting bio

Susanna O’Brien

  • Retired Secondary Biology Educator (34 years)
  • Nationally Board Certified Science Educator
  • New York State Master Teacher
  • Social skills adolescent group leader (10 years)
  • Social skills group leader trainer
  • Special needs advocate, including Dutchess County support services
  • Writer TODAY.com special needs parenting
  • Writer IMBY.com special needs articles
  • Author of upcoming book about raising two sons with autism
  • Speaker at special needs conferences and workshops throughout the Hudson Valley (20 years)
  • Parent of two special needs children (both ASD)
HV Connecting transparent

FAQ About Coaches

What is a Social Coach?

The social coach is an individual that works with the participant to assist them with their social goals outside the classroom.

What is their Job & What are their Responsibilities?
  • They have to attend the same sessions as their participant.
  • They must be available to achieve homework goals.
  • They will keep track of benchmarks being met
  • Modeling concepts, providing crucial feedback, and reinforcing positive skills
How do You Find a "Social Coach" that's Right for Me?

A social coach can be:

  • A parent, guardian or family member
  • Community habilitation worker
  • Intern from a local college

If you have questions or need assistance please contact us via email

Can I Register for the Course if I Don't have a Coach Lined Up?

Yes, you will contact one of the instructors by email: info@hvconnecting.com. They will assist you in finding the right person to become your coach

How does this Compare to a Dating Website?

HV Connecting is different because we are teaching social skills that the individual can apply to any relationship (family, friends, or romance).

Let’s Build Relationships Together!