It's How Medicine Should Be®


French German Italian Portuguese Russian

Autism Parent Education Groups

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center
Pediatric Developmental Center

3040 N. Wilton Ave., second floor
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 296-7682 (Sara Baillie)
Cook County
When: guest speakers present on topics from 6 to 8 p.m. on the second Monday in September, December, March and June.

The Answer, Inc.
Where: Bellwood Public Library
Contact: Debra Vines
600 Bohland Ave.
Bellwood, IL 60104
Cook County
(708) 296-5651
email: or
Parent support group. Professional childcare available and refreshments served. During the first hour, a volunteer presents on a specific autism or special needs topic, also providing updated resources and available services. The second hour is used to share experiences and provide support to one another.
When: meets the fourth Monday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: no fee.
No wait list.

The Autism Center for Excellence at Giant Steps Illinois
2500 Cabot Drive
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 455-5730
DuPage County
Training on specific autism topics for individuals or small and large groups.
Cost: $200 (hourly rate).
No wait list.

First Responders Training (at Giant Steps)
Program's goal is to educate emergency first responders on how to identify and work with an individual living with autism. Program follows a train-the-trainer model where selected first responders (trainers) attend the training and train their colleagues at a later date. In addition, because this program takes place in a school for children with autism, the trainers actually gain experience interaction with someone living with autism, as students and staff are part of the program.
Cost: Please call Giant Steps for more information.
No wait list.

NW Suburban Chapter of Autism Illinois, Hoffman Estates: Contact: Kym Bills, chapter president
(630) 523-1390

Berard Auditory Integration Training
Terrie Silverman, MS
524 E. Jefferson St.
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
(262) 569-7828
Waukesha County
Discussion will focus on auditory challenges and auditory interventions including Berard Auditory Integration Training. Silverman will travel to a location near you to discuss the theory and clinical applications of the BAIT program.
Cost: no fee.
No wait list.

Bridges for Autism Foundation
Marcia Biordi-Brown
P.O. Box 102
Deerfield, IL 60015
(847) 444-0019
Cook County
Provides education to professionals such as, medical personnel, educators, and providers, as well as parents and the general public. They collaborate with special education districts in the community creating unique and specialized programs.
Cost: no fee.
No wait list.

CASPAN (Chicago Autism Spectrum Adult and Teen Network)
There are several different groups around the Chicago area. Visit the website for meeting dates and locations. If you are looking for the GRASP Chicago group in Evanston, please visit their site.

Charlie's Gift
Diana de León, clinic manager
1048 Ogden Ave., Suite 130
Downers Grove, IL 60515
(630) 810-1200
DuPage County
Speakers provide information to parents.
When: meets the fourth Thursday of the month from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Cost: free.

Chicagoland Autism Connection's Monthly Meeting
Contact: Paul Butler
Where: Easter Seals School and Center for Autism Research
1939 West 13th St.
Chicago, IL 
Cook County
Free respite care for children with autism is provided by professionally trained staff. We limit respite care size to 20 to ensure safety and personalized care.
When: meets Saturdays, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Developmental Differences Parent Support Group 
Where: Bellybum Boutique
Kandalyn Hahn
4347 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
Cook County
Come meet other parents who are working hard to meet the special needs of their children. It’s a night to be supported, to ask questions and share resources, and to be with other parents who get what it’s like to deal with special challenges for their kids. Parents of kids with all types of developmental differences welcome (sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down Syndrome, physical disabilities, medical issues, etc.). Feel free to email us with any questions. Hope to see you
When: contact Kandalyn Hahn
Ages: adults only members and non-members
Cost: Feel free to bring a snack or drink to share.

Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago
Illinois Autism Partnership

Kathy Gould, program manager
1939 W. 13th St.
Chicago, IL 60608
(847) 340-0570
Cook County
The program goal is to build the capacity of local school districts so they may provide effective programming for students with autism spectrum disorders. These services enable students on the spectrum to be educated in their community schools, be included with their typical peers, and be engaged with their parents and family members as active participants in planning their education.

Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago
Parents Talk Autism (PTA)
PTA - Chicago

1939 West 13th St.
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 432-1751
Parents Talk Autism (PTA) is a group of parents who have children with an autism spectrum disorder. PTA is a parent advocacy group for those who have students that attend an Easter Seals Autism Therapeutic School. PTA provides resources, advocacy, fundraising, and community awareness.

Other PTA locations:
PTA - Rockford

615 S. 5th St.
Rockford, IL 61104
(815) 965-6745

PTA - Tinley Park
17300 Ozark Avenue
Tinley Park, IL 60477
(708) 802-9050

Edgewood Clinical Services, LLC
1288 Rickert Drive, Suite 120
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 428-7890
DuPage County

Second meeting location:
14722 S. Naperville Road, Suite 112
Plainfield, IL 60544
(630) 428-7890
Will County
Provides parenting classes, parenting skills for challenging behaviors, parent round table discussions and support for parents going through divorce.
Private insurance accepted.
Possible wait list.

Erikson Institute Presents:
Case Consultation for Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Presenter: Laura Wald, LCSW
451 N. LaSalle St.
Chicago, IL 60654-4510
(312) 893-7171
Cook County
Families with young children on the autism spectrum confront many psychological and daily life issues that cause stress at home, at school, and within the wider community. This workshop will present therapeutic techniques from a variety of frameworks for dealing with the common stressors that families face. Participants are encouraged to bring case presentations to share and discuss. They will leave with rich resources and an understanding of how to apply creative problem solving to cases.
When: call for future dates.
Five contact hours; professional credit available.
Cost: $150.

Evanston Autism Spectrum Adult Support Group
Evanston Hospital, Room 1711, first floor
2650 Ridge Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201
When: third Sunday of the month from 2 to 4 p.m.
Group is a peer-run support group for adults (18+) with Aspergers syndrome, autism, pervasive developmental disorder, NOS, nonverbal learning disabilities, and other similar LDs. No formal diagnosis necessary. The group will discuss a variety of topics including the challenges that adults on the autism spectrum face in work and more information on Chicago Adults with Aspergers & Friends Meetup site.

Family Behavioral Health
Matthew Parvin, MD
24821 W. 135th St.
Plainfield, IL 60586
(815) 254-7400
Will County
Provides educational lectures for organizations, schools, churches, and individual companies on various topics. For upcoming events, news, and lectures, go to website.

The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership
Evanston Northwestern Hospital
2650 Ridge Ave., Room 1711
Evanston, IL 60201
(888) 474-7277
Cook County
GRASP offers online discussion groups. Support groups for teens and family members. Topics discussed relate to challenges, relationships and family life.
When: meets third Sunday of each month from 2 to 4 p.m.
Must subscribe online before you can attend a meeting.
Cost: no fee, donations accepted. Free parking.

Grupo SALTO 
Contact: Matie Ovalle
(312) 996-0903
Support group for Latino parents in Chicago.

The Holistic Moms
Contact: Heather Carney
(773) 255-6078.

KGH Consultation & Treatment
Parents United Support Group
Contacts: Bobby Hanson, community & home support specialist or Ewelina Wojnarowski, behavior analyst
3100 Dundee Road, Suite 704
Northbrook, IL 60602
(847) 498-5437
Cook County
Monthly support group offers parents and caregivers a chance to connect with other parents of children with different developmental, learning, behavioral and/or social difficulties. Provides a forum to discuss the joys and struggles of raising a child with special needs in a safe and nurturing environment.
When: Call for future dates.
Cost: no fee.

Knowledge Safari is a social networking and review site catering to the special needs community. People can create profiles to connect with others navigating similar paths in the special needs world. People can create and read reviews of restaurants, doctors, afterschool programs, etc., with special needs in mind.

Little Friends Center for Autism, Inc.
1001 E. Chicago Ave., Suite 151
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 305-4196
DuPage County
Parent group will be facilitated by a licensed counselor, Eileen Lane, MS, LCPC. The focus of the groups will be to discuss issues, feelings and emotions with other parents and/or couples. Parents will meet others who can relate to their situations and explore common situations in families. In the group, parents will have the opportunity to work through problems they face every day in the schools, at home, with extended family and in the community. The ultimate goal of the group will be to identify the positive aspects of each family in order to best support their children's development.
When: call for future dates.

"Moms of Extraordinary Kids" is a monthly support group that meets for sharing and prayer.
Alpine Chapel
Corner of Echo Lake Road & Miller Road in Lake Zurich
When: second Sunday of each month at 10:30 a.m.
For additional information call Alpine Chapel at (847) 540-8280.

Monday Morning Series
Where: NSSED Offices
Rubloff Building Training Room 
776 Red Oak Lane 
Highland Park, IL 60035
When: Mondays, 9:30-11 a.m.

NSSED/APS Parent Mentor Program in collaboration with TotalLink2 Community Cooperative and the PELS parent group. Advance registration is required as space is limited. RSVP to Mary Ades or call (847) 831-5100, ext. 211. 
Cost: no fee.
Questions: Sue Hans (847) 831-5100, ext. 228.

Northside Parent Support Group
Contacts: Lily Montoya or Tracey Ingram-Grant
Where: John Coonley School Library
4046 N. Leavitt St. (north of Irving Park Road and Leavitt St.)
Chicago, IL 60618
(312) 282-9014
Cook County
email: or (Lily); (Traci Grant)
Group goal is to share what they know and have, yet to learn about many disabilities that are affecting their children, such as autism, ADD, etc. Their hope is to be friendly, listen, and come for up-to-date information about these disorders.
When: Meets the third Wednesday of every month (except July and August) from 6 to 7 p.m.
Child care available.
Cost: free.

Northwest Special Education Forum (created for parents whose children learn differently). 
Where: Barrington Area Library
505 N. Northwest Highway (Route 14)
Barrington, IL 60010
When: Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and last about 2 hours.

Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights 
(formerly Arlington Heights Evangelical Free Church): 
Special Needs Parent Network 
Contacts: Liz Sutherland and Wendi Serna 
Where: 1330 N. Douglas Ave.
Arlington Heights, IL 60004 
(224) 764-4032 (Liz) or (847) 749-4099 (Wendi)
When: meets the first Thursday of each month. 
Childcare will be provided if notified in advance.

Our Amazing Kids 
This is a local free, on-line support group for parents and educators of a child with a disability. Monthly meetings are planned for kids and then others for adults only. Please use the board to start discussions, post questions and events. Your posts will be automatically sent to all members unless e-mailing someone directly. They also have a calendar to post events with reminders. Suggestions are welcomed.

Padres Ayudando Nuestros Ninos con Autismo (PANNA)
Contacts: Romina Gieseman or Mabel Chirolla
West Chicago Park District Building
157 Washington St.
West Chicago, IL 60185
(630) 876-4460
Cook County
When: Meets second Wednesday of the month, 7-9 p.m.
In collaboration with Western DuPage Special Recreation Association and Carelink Foundation, parent support group provides monthly meetings with guest speakers and child care is available.
Cost: free.

Parent Support Group 
Contact: Nadine 
Where: Response
9304 Skokie Blvd.
Skokie, IL 60077
(224) 625-2909
When: meets first Thursday of each month.

Parent Support Group Autism Society of Illinois
Contact: Sarah
(630) 691-1270

Pay It Forward For Autism (PIFFA)
Gemma Nissen, Founder
836 S. Arlington Heights Road, Suite 162
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Cook County
Provides peer support, education and networking for children with autism and their families. 
When: call for future dates. 
Where: Elk Grove Library, 1001 Wellington, Elk Grove, IL.
Cost: free.

A Place for Children
Parents Group
Alexandra Koroleva-Regalado, MEd
7830 W. North Ave.
Elmwood Park, IL 60707
(847) 387-5342
Cook County

Second Location:
2425 W. Pratt Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60645
(847) 387-5342
Cook County
This class will allow parents to interact with each other to talk about issues important to them. This group is ideal for families who have children that are challenging. Support and parenting tips will be available.
When: group meets Tuesdays and Thursdays (at Pratt location) and Wednesdays and Fridays (at Elmwood Park location) from 5 to 6 p.m.
Ages: parents and adults.
Private insurance accepted (BCBS).
Cost: $8 (per class).
No wait list.

A Place For Me
Contact: Elaine Reeves Haywood
Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 428196
Evergreen Park, IL 60649
(773) 931-9394
A Place For Me is a non-for-profit organization advocating and educating families who are affected by autism.
Cost: no fee, except for fundraiser events.

Planning Asperger Syndrome Success and Generating Experiences (PASSAGE)
Where:  Harper College
1200 W. Algonquin Road, Bldg. A, room A-242 or A-238
Palatine, IL 60067
Cook County

Self Advocacy Council of Northern Illinois
Where: McHenry County College, Room B, 166-167
8900 U.S. Highway 14
Crystal Lake, IL 60012
McHenry County
Support group for youths and adults with disabilities and the people that support them. Some topics planned are: self-directed IEP and transition plans, scheduling "Self Advocacy 101" workshop presentation, voting rights and how to affect legislation, social security and employment rights, the right to live in your own community, inclusion in education, recreation and the community, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Americans with Disabilities Act.
When: meets on the second Thursday of each month, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Cost: free.
For additional information, RSVP or e-mail:

South West Special Recreation Association (SWSRA)
Where: Apollo Recreation Center
12521 S. Kostner Avenue
Alsip, IL 60803
(708) 389-9423
Cook County
Support group for parents or caregivers of individuals with special needs. Topics and speakers vary each meeting.
Free child care is available during the meetings. You must call the SWSRA office by the week prior to meeting to register your child for this free service.
When: Meets the third Monday of each month, September through May from 7-8:30 p.m.

Special Education MATTERS in Arlington Heights (SEMAH)

Special Kids, Special Families
Protected Tomorrows
103 Schelter Road (at Schelter and Route 22)
Lincolnshire, IL 60069
(847) 913-1812, Chris Eng
(847) 821-7740, Marilyn Green-Rebnord
(847) 459-1328, Stephanie Parker
Lake County 
Provides awareness workshops, behavioral strategies and training sessions to parents and professionals to increase education and strengthen capacity to effectively acknowledge autism.
Cost: free.
No wait list.

Special Needs Support Network (SNSN) of Lake Zurich and surrounding communities.
Where: Alpine Chapel
Miller and Echo Lake Road 
Lake Zurich, IL
(not affiliated with the church)
Lake County
When: meets every second Monday (networking) 9-11 a.m.

Second location:
Where: Ela Public Library
Contact: Sue
Route 22 and Old Rand Road
Lake Zurich, IL
(847) 726-2113
Lake County
When: meets every  fourth Monday (speakers) 7-8:45 p.m.

Talk About Curing Autism (TACA)
Sara DiFucci, Christina Blakey
Group meets at two locations:
Home State Bank
Community Meeting Room (basement level)
611 S. Main St.
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
(847) 669-2359
McHenry County

Second meeting location:
St. Christopher's Episcopal Church
545 S. East Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60304
Cook County
Provides information, resources and support to families affected by autism spectrum disorders.
When: Meets every second Saturday of the month from 4 to 6 p.m.
Cost: no fee. Childcare not available at this time.
No wait list.

Therapy Buzz
Michele Springer, founder
(866) 936-5255 or (847) 417-5548
email: allows parents, teachers, and other providers to collaboratively treat a child with autism in a secure environment. A web page can be created for the child to which notes can be submitted and documents (e.g. IEP's, treatment plans, progress reports, and test results) can be attached.
Cost: free.
No wait list.

Transitions Therapy, PC
Bianca D. Rodriguez, DT
225 Enterprise Drive, Suite 2505
Westchester, IL 60154
(708) 296-5990
DuPage County
Provides parent education for specific child concerns and development of IEP.
Private insurance accepted.
No wait list.

Trinity Services Autism and Family Resource Center
New Diagnosis Family Orientation Program

Contact: Katie Decker
Where: 13318 W. Lincoln Highway
New Lenox, IL 60451
(815) 462-4273
Will County
Program is designed to assist family members in understanding autism spectrum disorders. The program provides an opportunity for families to ask questions about this developmental disability and to meet other families who are on the same journey. Program topics include Session One: Introduction to ASD; Session Two: Research-Supported Interventions; and Session Three: Available Resources and Parent Tools.
If you would like additional information, call Katie Decker.

Tuesday's Child 
Contact: JoAnne or Katie
4028 W. Irving Park Rd.
Chicago, Illinois 60641
(773) 423-5055
Cook County
Parents work on individualized behavioral and goal planning activities, with group sessions led by a clinical psychologist and individual time with trained peer mentors. While parents are in session children are placed in the child center which uses the same developmentally appropriate, behavior management strategies taught to parents. Emphasis is placed on cooperating with the teacher and interactive play with peers. Programs are offered in English and Spanish. 
When: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - 9:30 a.m. to noon; Wednesdays – 1-3:30 p.m.; Saturday program operates from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
Ages: 18 months to 6 years.
Cost: Insurance not accepted; provides a sliding scale fee schedule based on household income - starting as low as $120/month. 
No wait list for the weekday program. 

University of Illinois Department of Disability and Human Development
Irma Hernandez, LCSW
1640 W. Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 413-1819 or (312) 355-0426
Cook County
Groups conducted in Spanish. Children may attend an arts program during the group, or receive childcare.
When: Meets the third Saturday of each month from 9 to 11:30 a.m.
Cost: no fee for parent group.
Cost for arts program: $50 for three months.
Childcare cost: $5 per child.
No wait list.

University of Illinois Institute for Juvenile Research
Lana Roth, LCSW
1747 W. Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 413-4624
Cook County 
Weekly workshops for parents and caregivers. Topics include social skills, behavior and helping children and siblings understand ASD diagnosis.
When: meets on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. for one to two hours.
Cost: $30 (per workshop).
No wait list.

University of Illinois Institute for Juvenile Research The Autism Program
Lana Roth, LCSW
1747 W. Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 413-4624
Cook County 
Six week session of parent guidance and instruction in the structured teaching model, with home and school visits available. Services families living within a particular catchment area on the South side of Chicago.
Cost: no fee.
Three month wait list.

WEE Speech, PC
Julie Levin, Speech Pathologist
8833 Gross Point Road
Skokie, IL 60077
(847) 329-8226
Cook County
Provides continuing education workshops and educational advocacy pertaining to children with special needs and their families.
Ages: Birth-18.
BCBS provider. Credentialed Early Intervention provider.
No wait list.

Year-Round Mental Illness Support Group
Two year-round ongoing monthly parent support groups.
When: Second Thursday evening and Third Friday morning
For parents of children and adolescents with brain disorders, behavior problems or school difficulties. No formal diagnosis necessary. Sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). For more information please call NAMI CCNS office at (847) 716-2252 or visit website.

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