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Autism Sibling Support Groups

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center
Sib Shop

Pediatric Development Center
Sheila Swann-Guerrero, CTRS
3040 N. Wilton Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
Cook County
(773) 296-8127
email: sheila.swann-guerrero@advocatehealth.com
Peer support and educational programs for siblings, who have a brother or sister with a disability or chronic condition.
Ages: 5-12 years (every other Wednesday, 6-7:30 p.m.); Cost: $25.
Ages: 5-12 years (every other month on Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.); Cost: $25.
Ages: 13-18 years (Friday Teen Dinner Club, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.); Cost: $10.
Scholarships are available.
No wait list.

Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital
Children's Health Resource Center

Where: Yacktman Children's Pavilion
1675 Dempster, Room Y2109/second floor
Park Ridge, IL
Contact: Kathryn Smart, MS, RN
(847) 723-9484
email: kathryn.smart@advocatehealth.com
Sibsensations: program for brothers and sisters of children with special needs
Sibsensations offers support for healthy siblings of children with developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and selected chronic illnesses. Children meet peers with similar experiences in a fun and friendly atmosphere, where they can discuss their common joys and concerns. They learn how to handle aituations they all face regularly and discuss the implications of having a brother or sister with special needs. This is accomplished through games, activities, crafts and age appropriate discussion.
When: call for future dates.
Ages: 8-13 years.
Cost: $10 for each session/$5 each additional family member
Registration is required.

The Arc’s National Sibling Council
They welcome all siblings and those who support siblings who are members of The Arc, either at the local, state or national level. The Council will offer opportunities for: networking – meet other siblings face to face and/or online; support and resources for those needing guidance in situations unique to their family (e.g. introducing your sibling to your girlfriend and their family or caring for your sibling after your parents are not able to do so); celebrating the sibling relationship; supporting the advocacy and programmatic efforts of The Arc at all levels (local, state, national); and leadership development and training through involvement in standing committees, ad hoc committees and task forces. Join the Council or contribute to the council.

Aspire Children's Services
Contact: Debby Mayo
1815 S. Wolf Road
Hillside, IL 60162
(708) 236-0979
Cook County
email: dmayo@aspireofillinois.org
Quarterly sibshops: activities, games and sharing for children five and older who have brothers or sisters with special needs.
Cost: $10 per family for each sibshop.

Autism Society of Illinois
SIBSHOP

Melissa (847) 534-6607 or email Libby libby@autismillinois.org
Where: Aldrin Elementary School
617 Boxwood Lane
Schaumburg, IL 60193
This group is for children ages 6-17 who have a sibling with Autism. The group provides a safe and non-judgmental forum where siblings can share their challenges and coping techniques while gaining support from others who understand. Sessions will include discussion and activities designed to help participants blow off some steam and have some fun.
When: first Monday of every month, 6-7:30 p.m.

Behavioral Psychology Associates
Virginia Seng, PhD
Amie Yanover, PhD
999 Plaza Drive, Suite 300
Schaumburg, IL 60173
(847) 619-1880, ext. 19 (Virginia); ext. 25 (Amie).
email: ginseng825@yahoo.com
Cook County
Group will offer a comfortable and fun environment to share the joys and challenges of having a sibling that needs extra attention. Topics will include: helping siblings learn how to manage feelings that are common to siblings of children with special needs; aiding siblings in developing strategies for dealing with difficult situations in relation to his/her sibling. A group syllabus and handouts will be provided.
Ages: 8-10 years (boys and girls); 11-13 years (boys and girls); and 5-7 years (boys and girls).
Private insurance accepted.
Cost: $65 (per 50-minute group session).
No wait list.

Belle Center of Chicago
Susan Karr, program director
1754 W. Wilson Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 878-7868
Cook County
email: susan@bellecenter-chicago.org
Sibling support group where the brothers and sisters of children with disabilities are provided an opportunity to share their common experiences and feelings.  The casual atmosphere and recreational activities promote informal sharing and friendships among participants. These workshops typically feature crafts, games, stories, discussion and snacks.
When: call for future date and time.
Ages: 3-16 years.
Cost: free.
No wait list.

The Center for Hope & Healing
Jessica K. Paganis, MSW, LSW, P.L.A.Y Project Home Consultant
16W241 South Frontage Road, Suites 35 & 36
Burr Ridge, IL 60527
(630) 468-2341
DuPage County
email: jessica@thecenterforhopeandhealing.com
Group peer support group and education for siblings of children affected by developmental disorders. Call for meeting days and times. The Center for Hope & Healing is committed to providing therapeutic interventions that optimize the social, emotional, developmental and behavioral needs of children and families affected by autism and related disorders.
Limited private insurance accepted.
Cost: varies by service.
No wait list.

Encouraging Changes Counseling
Aimee Micetic, MA, LCPC
Registered play therapist
13717 S. Route 30, Suite 159
Plainfield, IL  60544
(815) 274-3416
Will County
email: amicetic@sbcglobal.net
Sibling support group geared towards giving siblings a place to come and learn about special needs and also offer support to one another.
When: alternating Thursdays, 5-6 p.m.
Private insurance accepted.
Cost: $30 (hourly rate per session).
No wait list.

KGH Consultation & Treatment, Inc.
Sibs Are Special!

3100 Dundee Road, Suite 704
Northbrook, IL 60062
(847) 498-5437
Cook County
Being a sibling of a special needs brother or sister is challenging. Their certified yoga instructor and masters prepared art therapist will provide a relaxing and positive environment for the sibling to be creative and self-express through various art mediums, yoga, visual relaxation and deep breathing techniques and more. This summer program is just about them! Help them feel refreshed and learn positive thinking techniques.
When: call for upcoming dates.
Cost: call for details.

Little Friends Center for Autism, Inc.
Sibshops (Sibling Support Group)

Contact: Patti Boheme
140 N. Wright St.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 281-1895
DuPage County
Workshop geared towards girls who have a brother or sister with autism. During the sibshop, participants will meet other children who experience similar joys and challenges of having a special needs sibling. It will be a safe place to make new friends, discuss feelings and have fun. Participants will be encouraged to share their emotions and help one another to handle difficult situations. Fun activities and snacks will be provided. Group leader: Jennifer Gazda, LSW (runs Sibshops regularly, also a parent of a daughter on the spectrum).
When: call for future date and time.
Ages: 7-9 years (girls).
Cost: $210 (no refunds for missed groups).
No wait list.

Little Friends Center for Autism, Inc
1001 E. Chicago Ave., Suite 151
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 305-4196, ext. 3.
DuPage County
Agency providing low-cost individual counseling for siblings who have a brother or sister with autism.
When: call for future dates.
Ages: 3 years and up.
Cost: $20 (hourly rate).
To schedule appointment, ask for Dinah

Oakhill Wellness & Counseling Center
Saturday Sibtime

Katherine Kubal, LCSW
Stacey Stewart, LCPC
35 S. Washington St., Suite 300
Naperville, IL 60540
(Catch 35 and Century 21 Building)
(630) 717-9858, ext. 6
DuPage County
Sibtime is a fun, non-threatening supportive experience where children and adolescents come together to have the opportunity to learn about their brother’s/sister’s disability, learn about themselves and share what it is like to have a sib with special needs. We focus on building self-esteem and confidence in each participant. This informal group is designed to be fun for everyone, so we will provide a range of interactive games, opportunity for discussion, and expression of feelings through various activities. All activities are planned according to age appropriateness.
Ages: 7-12 years.
Cost: $40 (per Saturday session).
Cost: no wait list.

Sibling Leadership Network
The Sibling Leadership Network is dedicated to advancing causes important to the millions of siblings of people who have disabilities. The more members they have, the greater impact they will have. As needed, they will contact you from time to time regarding initiatives, policy decisions, and sibling related-events that they think are important to brothers and sisters. To join, click here.
Cost to join: none; donations accepted.

Trinity Services, Inc.
Autism & Family Resource Center

Sib Shops
Katie Decker
13318 W. Lincoln Highway
New Lenox, IL 60451
(815) 462-4273
Will County
email: kdecker@trinity-services.org
Sib Shops is geared toward helping children meet friends and learning how to cope with the challenges of having siblings affected by autism spectrum disorders.
When: call for future date and time.
Cost: $20 (1 child).
$25 (2 children).
$30 (3 children).
No wait list.

If you are interested in adding your organization or would like to make changes to a current listing on our website, please contact Natalie Forburger, LCPC, at (312) 563-2272 or natalie_m_forburger@rush.edu.