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Autism Support Groups

The Answer, Inc.
Just Between Us
Debra Vines, founder, executive director
Where: Howard Mohr Community Center
7640 Jackson Blvd.
Forest Park, IL 60130
Cook County
(708) 296-5651
email: or
Co-ed monthly 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 6-8 p.m.
Cost: no fee.

The Answer, Inc.
Support Group Just for Men
Debra Vine, founder, executive director
Where: Forest Park Plaza
7600 W. Roosevelt Road
Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 296-5651
Cook County
email: or
Support group that caters to the needs of the fathers dealing with individuals with autism or other mental impairments. This group is male run and an important component to The Answer, Inc.
When: meets the second Saturday of every month.
Cost: no fee.

The Answer, Inc.
Always There Phone Line
Debra Vine, founder, executive director
(708) 296-5651
24-hour free phone support line that will provide counseling services, referrals to collaborating partners or just an understanding ear to listen to you.

Arlington Pediatric Therapy Management Services, Ltd.
Evening Parent Support Group
Mary Beth Mayer, facilitator
Location: 3105 N. Wilke Road, Suite H
Arlington Heights, IL 60004-1450
(847) 255-8690, ext. 127
Cook County
This group provides parents, grandparents, and caregivers of children with special needs the opportunity to share experiences, concerns, fears, and successes. It is also a way to network and offer support to one another.
When: meets second Wednesday of every month from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: no fee.
No wait list.

Other Support Groups at Arlington Pediatric Therapy Management, Inc.

Student Support Group
This group provides students with physical disabilities the opportunity to meet other students who might be facing similar challenges. Students have the opportunity to share with one another some of the feelings they might be experiencing regarding their disability, and wonderful friendships develop in the process.
When: call for future dates.
Ages: high school and beyond.

Student Support Group
Arlington Pediatriac Therapy would very much like to start up another support group for students with physical disabilities. If you feel your son/daughter might benefit from such a group, please contact Mary Beth Mayer at (847) 255-8690, ext. 127.
Ages: elementary and middle school students. 

Asperger Teen and Young Adult Social Group Bowling Outing
Bev Mills at (815) 735-1208.
Location: Lemont Lanes, Inc.
1015 State St.
Lemont, IL 60439
(630) 257-5426              
Cook County
When: stay tuned for upcoming date of next outing.

Aspire Children's Services
Eamon Shannon Center
Contact: Paige Fumo Fox
1815 S. Wolf Road
Hillside, IL 60162
(708) 236-0979
Cook County
"Coffee & Conversation: Building Your Village." We all know it takes a village to raise a child. Come expand your village by meeting other parents of children with special needs for informal coffee and conversation. Coffees are monthly, typically the third Tuesday of the month. RSVP in advance.
When: meets the third Tuesday of the month, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Cost: Free.

Autism Society of Illinois Parent Support Group
Location: Poplar Creek Public Library
1405 South Park Ave.
Streamwood, IL 60107
(630) 691-1270
Cook County
Parent support group.
When: call or email to find out when next group meets.
Cost: free event.
No wait list.

Autism and Special Needs Parent Support Group
Stacie from Meetup Mothers of Autism
Location: Aurora, IL
Kids are welcome to meetings.
For more details, please e-mail Stacie at or call (630) 842-5689.
When: meets the second Wednesday of every month.
Cost: no fee.

Autism Parent Support Group
Jane Jedlicka
Serving: Schaumburg School District 54
Location: Collins Elementary School
407 S. Summit Drive, rooms 107 and 108
Schaumburg, IL 60193
(847) 382-2111 or (630) 736-2506
Cook County
Support group is open-ended, parent-directed discussions, which allow the parents to explore a wide range of issues. Guest speakers provided on various topics. While the parents attend the support group, a social skills group for the children will be provided by Floortime specialists, who will facilitate social interactions using Floortime strategies.
When: meets every Monday from noon to 1:30 p.m., call for upcoming date.
Cost: no fee.
No wait list.

Bridges to a New Day
Location: 1135 E. Ninth St.
Lockport, IL 60447
(815) 838-2690
Will County
email: kathyw@bridgestoanewday.or
Bi-monthly parenting support group for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder. Take time to talk and get support from other parents and professionals.
When: meets the second and fourth Monday of every month at 5 p.m.
Cost: free. Child care available at no cost.

Single Parent Group (also at Bridges to a New Day)
Location: same as above.
Monthly parenting support group for single parents. Take time to talk and get support from other parents and professionals.
When: meets the first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m.
Cost: free and child care available at no cost.

Center for Speech and Language Disorders
Phyllis Kupperman, PhD
606 N. Michigan St.
Elmhurst, IL 60126
DuPage County
(630) 530-8551


430 W. Erie St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 335-0453
Cook County
Sponsors parent support group meetings and holds an annual conference for professionals and parents.
Fee schedule and financial assistance available by calling CSLD at (630) 530-8551.

Chicago Autism Spectrum Adult (and Teen) Network (CASPAN)
Women's Asperger's Syndrome Support Group
Location: CLE College Living Experiences Offices
7337 N. Lincoln Ave., Suite 290
Lincolnwood, IL 60712
(847) 674-0881
Cook County
email: (Jamie) or (Katie)
This is a brand new group for women only who experience Asperger's, pervasive developmental disorders (PDD, PDD-NOS) and similar issues.
When: meets on Sundays, 2-4 p.m.
Ages: 16 and up.
Cost: no fee.
No wait list.


Chicago Autism Spectrum Adult (and Teen) Network (CASPAN)
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.

Chicago Special Kids
Laura Rodriguez, group organizer
Location: Oscar Mayer School
2250 N. Clifton Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 534-5535
Cook County
Parent support group for moms of special needs children. Parents share knowledge of talks, seminars, books, and events etc. If you would like to host a play date or suggest an event please, e-mail Laura Rodriguez.
Cost: none.
No wait list.

Chicagoland Autism Connection Monthly Meeting
Contact: Paul Eric Butler, executive director
Where: Easter Seals School and Center for Autism Research
1939 West 13th St., Chicago
(773) 329-0375
When: call for future dates.

Community Therapy Services
Coffee Talk Parent Support Group
Location: Fairfield Inn & Suites
2096 Bricher Road
St. Charles, IL 60174
(630) 444-0077
Serving Counties: Kane & DuPage
Provides an online supplement to their support group. This group is a great place to find all the resources they discuss in their monthly meetings as well as any others that they think of in between meetings. It is also a place where you can ask questions without having to wait for the meeting and forget the question in the meantime. It is a safe place to share the joys and challenges of parenting a child with special needs.
When: meets every third Tuesday of each month, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Cost: free.
No wait list.

Developmental Differences
Parent Support Group
@ Bellybum Boutique
Location: Bellybum Boutique
4347 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
Cook County
Contact: Kandalyn Hahn
When: call for upcoming dates.
Come meet other parents who are working hard to meet the special needs of their children. It will be 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: questions at

Eagle's Nest
Trudy and Richard Capoccioni
Location: Willow Creek Community Church
67 E. Algonquin Road
South Barrington, IL 60010
(847) 855-9571
Cook County
Support group for parents of children with special needs. Parents break out in small groups (eight to 14 per table) to discuss concerns, needs spiritual growth. Children's program provided during meetings. Siblings welcome.
When: meets twice a month on Saturdays, 3:30-5 p.m.
Cost: free.
No wait list.

Early Life Parent Support Group
Facilitator: Eileen Lane, LCPC
Location: Holy Spirit Catholic Community
2003 Hassert Blvd. (NW corner of 111th and Book)
Naperville, IL 60564
(630) 922-0081 or (630) 922-0081 (Cindi Swanson, MSW)
DuPage County
Network opportunity and support group for families with children ages zero to three with a disability diagnosis.
When: call for date of upcoming meeting.
Babysitting is available. Arrangements for child care must be made by contacting the church the Friday before the meeting so caretakers can be reserved.
Cost: no fee.
No wait list.

Enzymes Online Support Group
Website discusses digestive enzymes (and many other types of supplements) and how their supplementation affect those dealing with conditions of the autistic spectrum/PDD, attention deficit, sensory integration, digestion/malabsorption, food sensitivities/allergies and other uses. Comments and questions are welcomed about using enzymes in any way, including but not limited to those dealing with restrictive diets, treatments, feeding issues, and intestinal health.
Cost: no fee.

Family Resource Center on Disabilities
Charlotte Des Jardins
Location: 20 E. Jackson Blvd., room 300
Chicago, IL 60604
Cook County
(312) 939-5313
The Family Support Project provides individualized support services for low-income Chicago families. FRCD conducts free Special Education Rights Training Seminars in English and Spanish. Topics include "Strategies for Working With the School," "Understanding Your Child's Test Scores," and "How to Measure Your Child's Progress."
When: meets the first Tuesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Spanish group: meets second Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: no fee.
No wait list.

Fearless Grandparents Against Autism
Shirley Craven, PhD
(847) 674-5053 or (224) 567-8573
Support and educational group for grandparents of children with autism. Meeting place varies; strictly volunteer. Round table discussion. Join the group to brainstorm ways that can support families in the best means possible. Increase grandparents' understanding of autism and help become more effective in family relationships.
When: meets several times per month on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost: no fee.
No wait list.

The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership (GRASP) - Evanston Autism Spectrum Adult Support Group
Brian Sanborn, regional facilitator
Location: Evanston Northwestern Hospital
2650 Ridge Ave., room 1711
Evanston, IL 60201
(888) 474-7277
Cook County
email: or
Peer-run support group for adults (18+) with Asperger Syndrome, autism, pervasive developmental disorder-NOS, nonverbal learning disabilities, and other similar social-affecting learning disabilities. No formal diagnosis necessary to attend groups.
When: meets the 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 at the Evanston Hospital garage on Sundays.

Contact: Matie Ovalle or Irma Hernandez
(312) 996-0903 (Matie); (312) 413-1819 (Irma)
email: (Matie) or (Irma)

Heartland Community Church - Parent Support Group
1280 S. Alpine Road
Rockford, IL 61108
(815) 395-8000
Winnebago County
Heartland Community Church offers a support group for parents of children of any age with special needs, and childcare is available.

Helping Hand School for Autism
Sally Wilson-Gamble
Location: 9649 W. 55th St.
Countryside, IL 60525
(708) 352-3580, ext. 437
Cook County
email: or
Group open to parents of children with disabilities, autism-related issues are frequently covered. Group features different speakers on various topics each month.
When: meets the third Thursday of each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: no fee.
No wait list.

The Holistic Moms
Contact: Heather Carney at (773) 255-6078 or
Holistic Moms is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization connecting parents who are interested in holistic health and green living. We encourage moms to trust their instincts, parent from the heart, use their innate sense of what is best for their children, live in balance with the Earth, and learn about the pros and cons of all healthcare and parenting options.

Holy Cross Support Group for Parents of Special Needs Children
Amanda Komaschka and Pastor Joleen
Location: 29700 St. Mary’s Road
P.O. Box 726, room 208
Libertyville, IL 60048
(847) 729-5739 (Amanda)
(847) 287-0569 (Pastor Joleen)
(847) 680-8362 (Lisa Dunbar)
Lake County
Support group for parents who have children with special needs. Being a support for one another, sharing the challenges, hearing God’s word of love, and having ideas shared by a teacher are all the advantages available for parents. Participants may attend whether they are members of Holy Cross or not. Conversation and sharing resources are the key to feeling supported. Feel free to invite someone.
When: meets the fourth Sunday of each month at 4 p.m.
Cost: no fee. Snacks are donated by Helping From Heaven.
No wait list.

KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now)
Ayana Geiger
Location: Loyola Park District
1230 West Greenleaf
Chicago, IL 60626
(773) 764-8740
Cook County
When: call or email for date of upcoming meeting.
Cost: no fee.

KGH Consultation & Treatment
Parents United Support Group

Diane Fialkowski
Where: 3100 Dundee Road, Suite 704
Northbrook, IL 60062
(224) 326-2204
Cook County
This 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. Parents United will provide a forum to discuss the joys and struggles of raising a child with special needs in a safe and nurturing environment. Parents will be able to share experiences, listen to others' experiences, and swap advice on topics ranging from the impact of having a child with special needs on the family, self-care and coping with stress, patience and acceptance, the education system, legal rights, financial planning, and how to engage your child.
When: Thursdays, 6-7 p.m.
KGH provides free child care during the group. To receive childcare you must RSVP and include the number of children that will attend.

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.

Lexi Kazian Foundation-Helping From Heaven
Amanda Komaschka or Pastor Joleen
Location: Holy Cross Lutheran Church
27900 N. St. Mary's Road
Libertyville, IL 60048
(847) 729-5739 (Amanda)
(847) 367-4060 (Pastor Joleen)
Lake County
Non-denominational special needs parent support group. This group shares its thoughts and feelings about the challenges and successes of raising a child with special needs. Babysitting may be available with pre-arrangements. Education, therapy and playground equipment, therapy toys, resources and scholarships for families and therapists in need of financial assistance and/or community support. Some of the equipment is donated and/or new. Families and siblings of special needs children are invited to social networking events three to four times a year.
When: meets the fourth Sunday of each month from 4 to 6 p.m.
Cost: no fee.

Little Friends Center for Autism, Inc.
Location: 1001 E. Chicago Ave., Suite 151
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 305-4196
DuPage County
Therapeutic support for parents, couples and individuals with an autism spectrum disorder. Facilitated by a licensed counselor, the focus of these 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 needs.
When: Tuesdays, 12:45 to 2 pm.
Cost: $125 (for parents); $175 (per couple)

Meetup Mothers of Autism
Shari Hurckes, organizer
Location varies
Naperville, IL 60540
DuPage County
(312) 446-3739
This is a support group for parents who have children with an autism spectrum disorder. Group has a very active message board if you are not able to attend the meetings filled with information and open to any questions.

Midwest Asian Health Association - Family support group
Yue Xu, employment specialist 
Felicia Li, employment specialist
230 W Cermak Road, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 225-8708 or (312) 791-0418, x. 3607
Cook County
Bilingual group for English, Mandarin, and some Cantonese speakers. Group meets once a month - they do not have set date. Discussions will be around the benefits people with disabilities who work, benefit planning such as Medicaid, Medicare, SSI, SSDI, and respite services.
Cost: free.
No wait list. Walk-ins welcome.

Moms & Daughters with Asperger's Meetup Group
New group! There are a lot of girls who have difficulty with social situations for a variety of reasons. This group is for moms and daughters (12-18 yrs.) who would like a safe and nurturing group for monthly outings to just have fun. Activities include: bowling, movies, mall, crafting, volunteering or anything that teen girls like to do, but maybe girls with social skill deficits are not able to do. This group was created for a community where all moms and girls are welcome and all girls can have friends. Anyone can join. All that is required is a kind heart and a desire to have fun. Check out this Meetup Group.

Moms of Extraordinary Kids
Where: Alpine Chapel
23153 W Miller Road
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
(847) 540-8280
Lake County
Monthly support group that meets for sharing and prayer.
When: meets second Sunday of each month at 10:30 a.m.
For additional information, call Alpine Chapel at (847) 540-8280.

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

NW Suburban Chapter of Autism Illinois, Hoffman Estates: Chapter President Kym Bills (630) 523-1390 or

Naperville Asperger's Parent Support Group
Jill Holman
Location: Knox Presbyterian Church
1105 Catalpa Lane
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 904-4110
DuPage County
Local support group discusses the joys and challenges of raising children/adults with Aspergers. Occasional guest speakers attend meetings to address topics of interest; resources and information provided to parents.
When: meets the first Thursday of every other month from 7 to 9 p.m.
No summer meetings.
Cost: no fee or reservation needed.

Northside Parent Support Group
Lily Montoya & Tracey Ingram-Grant
John Coonley School Library
Location: 4046 N. Leavitt St. (North of Irving Park Road and Leavitt St.)
Chicago, IL 60618
(312) 618-4500
Cook County
email:; (Lily); and (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.
Childcare is available.
Cost: free.

North Shore Pediatric Therapy
Locations: 1308 Waukegan Road, Glenview, IL 60025, Cook County
1700 W. Cortland, Chicago, IL 60622, Lake County
1442 Old Skokie Road, Highland Park, IL 60035, Lake County
(877) 486-4140
Parent support group gathering are informal and give parents a way to stay informed, to feel understood and to get the peer support that really helps.
Cost: no fee.
No wait list.

North Suburban Illinois Chapter Autism Society of America
Location: Skokie Village Hall
Lower level – Community Room
5127 W. Oakton
Skokie, IL 60077
(847) 583-5080
Cook County
Guest speakers at most meetings to discuss autism spectrum disorders.
When: meets the first Tuesday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m.
Cost: no fee.

Northwest Indiana Families for Effective Autism Treatment (INFEAT)
Group of parents and professionals in N.W. Indiana who have, or work with, children diagnosed with autism, ASDs (autism spectrum disorders) or PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified). Their goal is to provide accurate information, support, resources, and hope for Indiana families of children with autism. Their objectives are 1) to promote understanding and use of applied behavior analysis (ABA)/applied verbal behavior (AVB) as effective treatments for autism, 2) to facilitate early identification and diagnosis, 3) to educate medical, educational, political and lay communities about autism, and 4) to help Indiana families stay informed regarding legislative issues affecting individuals with autism and their families. All monthly meetings have been cancelled until further notice. email inquiries to

Northwest Network Advisory Council (NWN AC)
Where: Milestone Training Center
4504 Shepherd Trail
Rockford, IL 61103
If you are an individual or a parent/guardian or other family member of an individual with a developmental disability, the NWN AC is currently seeking more input and feedback from families regarding the quality of service provision in the area. This is a great opportunity to meet with other families and service providers to advocate for necessary community and related supports for individuals living with developmental disabilities.
When: Meets on the second Tuesday of odd numbered months (January, March, May, July, September and November) at 4:30 p.m.

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

Northwest Suburban Illinois Chapter of the Autism Society of America (ASPIE)
Contact: Kym Bills, president
Where: One Illinois Blvd.
Hoffman Estates, IL 60194
(630) 523-1390
Cook County
Sibshops are now available every month and will run the entire length of the meeting.
When: meets the first Tuesday of every month except January at 7:30 p.m.
Cost: no fee.
Childcare is available. Must register at least 48 hours before meeting to reserve your spot for child care. Spaces are limited and it is on a first come first serve basis.

Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization (NSSEO)
Linda Hoeck, autism coordinator
Location: NSSEO Admin. Building boardroom
799 W. Kensington Road
Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
(847) 463-8100
Cook County
NSSEO helps Northwest Suburban School Districts provide services to children and adolescents.
When: meets on Wednesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Next meeting: call for upcoming meeting.
Cost: no fee.
No wait list.

OCDChicago is a good reference for families with a member who has OCD. They offer information, answer phone questions, and have a referral list of therapists and support groups.
email: or phone (773)880-1635.

Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights (formerly Arlington Heights Evangelical Free Church)
Contact: Liz Sutherland at (224) 764-4032 or Wendi Serna at (847) 749-4099 or email:
Where: 1330 N. Douglas Avenue
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Cook County
Special needs parent network. 
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 childcare is available.
Cost: free.

Parent with EASE (Explaining Autism with Support and Education)
Hosted by: Autism Family Center
Contacts: Lauren Rabin or Kathryn Jackson
Where: Autism Family Center
560 Green Bay Road
Winnetka, IL 60093
Cook County
emails: (Lauren) or (Kathryn)
Parent with EASE is a group dedicated to helping parents navigate the world of autism in a safe, confidential environment. Topics include: self-care, bullying, puberty, and much more. Parents have the opportunity to speak openly in a room of peers who truly understand. Complimentary childcare available.
When: Meets on Mondays (must reserve a seat, no walk ins), 6:30 p.m.

A Place for Children 
Parents Group
Alexandra Koroleva-Regalado, MEd
Location: 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: 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.
No wait list.

A Place For Me
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.

Parent Education Parent Support (P.E.P.S. Dist. 57)
Contact: Michelle Lutze, organizer
Where: Lions Park Elementary School
300 Council Trail
Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
(847) 394-7330
Cook County
Autism parent support group.
When: call Michelle for date of next meeting.
Cost: no fee.
Join this social network and RSVP for future events.

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

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

Pay It Forward For Autism (PIFFA)
Gemma Nissen, Founder
Location: 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.
Cost: free.

Pediatric Developmental Center
Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center

Location: 3040 N. Wilton, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 296-7682 (Sara Baillie)
Cook County
Four-week parent training.
No wait list.

Planning Asperger Syndrome Success and Generating Experiences (PASSAGE)
Donna Alexander, Teri Dudasik & Sue Demma

Where: Harper College
1200 W. Algonquin Road, Building A, room A-238
Palatine, IL 60067
(847) 524-1089 (Donna)
(847) 923-7173 (Terri)
Cook County
Support and educational group for teenagers and adults with Aspergers syndrome. Focus of PASSAGE is teaching skills for appropriate behavior for finding a job or internship.
When: Meets the fourth Tuesday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m.
Next meeting: Call for future dates.

PURE (Parent United for Responsible Education)
Wanda Hopkins
Location: 100 S. Morgan St.
Chicago, IL 60607-2619
(312) 491-9101 or (877) 491-7873
Cook County
Parent advocacy group based in Chicago. PURE’s support group and website provides news, analysis, information and resources for parents, local school councils (the elected, parent-majority bodies in Chicago’s public schools), and anyone else who is interested in improving public schools for all children.
Cost: free.
No wait list. 

Rainbow of Friends
Ayana Geiger
Location: Loyola Park District
1230 W. Greenleaf
Chicago, IL 60626
Cook County
(773) 764-8740
Parent group provides education, support, guest speakers, networking and linking families with resources. Other events include end of the school year BBQ, back to school potluck, etc.
Cost: no fee.
No wait list.

Rolling Meadows Asperger Support Group
Susie Smith
Location: Cardinal Drive Church
2300 Cardinal Drive
Rolling Meadows, IL 60016
(847) 255-5465
Cook County
Group provides support to parents. Guest speakers. Topics discussed include integration therapy, holiday stress, insurance and sibling issues.
When: meets every second Tuesday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m.
Cost: no fee.

Schaumburg School District 54
Jane Jedlicka
Location: Collins Elementary School
407 S. Summit Drive, Room 108 (parents) and Room 107 (children)
Schaumburg, IL 60193
(630) 736-2506 or (847) 357-6100
Cook County
Parent support group for parents of children on the autistic spectrum. The groups are open-ended, parent-directed discussions, which allow the parents to explore a wide range of issues. The groups are lead by social workers, from early childhood, elementary, and junior high school, as well as an elementary school psychologist. While the parents attend support group, a social skills group is provided to the children using Floortime strategies.
When: call for date and time of next meeting.
Cost: no fee.

Self-Advocacy Council of Northern Illinois
Location: McHenry County College, Rooms B-166-167
8900 U.S. Highway 14
Crystal Lake, IL 60012
McHenry County
815) 354-4110
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 email: or Nicholas Das, President,

Sensory Integration Disorder Support Group
This group provides a free space for discussion about sensory issues, occupational therapy, biomed, mercury toxicity, vaccines, and all topics and therapies related to Sensory Integration Disorder (also known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction or Sensory Processing Disorder). Web site provides information and support to parents, relatives, friends and professionals who deal with children who have SID/DSI/SPD.
Cost: no fee.
No wait list.

Social Group for Teens and Young Adults with Asperger's Disorder
Jamie Specht
Location: New Beginnings Church
11111 Roberts Road
Palos Hills, IL 60465
(708) 296-1440
Cook County
email: or on CASPAN.
Group provides a social outlet for those with Asperger's disorder and related experiences. Members will have an opportunity to talk with others who can understand. Group will play games and snacks are provided.
When: stay tuned for date of next meeting.
Two age groups: 13-16; 16 and up.
Cost: $3 (suggested donation or bring food to share with the group).
No wait list.

South West Special Recreation Association (SWSRA)
Location: Apollo Recreation Center
12521 S. Kostner Ave.
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 childcare 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.
Cost: free.

Special Education MATTERS in Arlington Heights (SEMAH)

Special Kids, Special Families
Location: Protected Tomorrows
103 Schelter Road (at Schelter and Rte. 22)
Lincolnshire, IL 60069
(847) 913-1812, Chris Eng
(847) 821-7740, Marilyn Green-Rebnord
(847) 459-1328, Stephanie Parker
Lake County
Special Kids, Special Families will no longer be meeting indefinitely. Because of time constraints, the organizers are unable to organize and run another year's worth of programming. On their behalf, the organizers want to say thank you to all the wonderful professionals who have donated their expertise and time to speak to the group over the years. Good luck to each of you in your journeys with your children.

Special Needs Support Group
Kim Neace
Location: Wheatland Salem United Methodist Church
1852 W. 95th St.,  room 211
Naperville, IL 60565
(630) 904-1035, ext. 140
DuPage County
Support group for parents who have children with special needs. Group supports and encourages one another, receive resources, discuss IEP's, and form a community with each other. This support group is led and facilitated by Karen Neville and Nicki Garcia.
When: meets the third Sunday of each month from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m.
Cost: no fee.

Special Needs Support Network (SNSN) of Lake Zurich and surrounding communities.
When: Second and Fourth Mondays
Second Monday (networking) 9-11 a.m. at
Alpine Chapel in Lake Zurich (Miller and Echo Lake Road)
not affiliated with the church
Fourth Monday (speakers) 7-8:45 p.m. at
Ela Public Library in Lake Zurich (Route 22 and Old Rand Road). For more information email: or call Sue at (847) 726-2113.

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

2nd 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.

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 service
No wait list.

Trinity Services Autism and Family Resource Center
Katie Decker
Location: 13318 W. Lincoln Hwy.
New Lenox, IL 60451
(815) 462-4273
Will County
Parents should call ahead to register. Upcoming topics include: applied behavior analysis, increasing appropriate behavior, functional language training, managing challenging behavior.
When: Meets every third Wednesday of each month from 7 to 9 p.m.
Cost: no fee.
No wait list.

Susan Tybon
Location: 2700 S. River Road, Suite 203
Des Plaines, IL 60018
(224) 567-8573
Serving all counties.
Services include support groups for family members.
Cost: no fee.
No wait list.

University of Illinois Department of Disability and Human Development
Matie Ovalle
Location: 1640 W. Roosevelt Road, MC727
Chicago, IL 60608-6904
(312) 996-0903 or (773) 313-6524
Cook County
Open to Latino parents and other caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorders. Education sessions for parents are provided in Spanish. For information about meeting dates, to become a member, register for child care, or to be added to the mailing list, call Matie Ovalle.
When: Meets once a month, usually the third Saturday from 9 to 11:30 a.m.
Cost: $50 (yearly membership fee).

University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
Department of Disability and Human Development
Self-Advocacy Social Skills Groups

Contact: Jennifer Gorski, PhD or Lana Roth, LCSW
Where: UIC, 1747 W. Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 413-4624
Cook County
Eligible participants: Chicago area University and Community College students with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (and not restricted to UIC). Groups will focus on: your rights as a student with ASD; assertiveness skills for college survival; how to talk to teachers and professors; self-disclosure about your diagnosis (when to do it, when not to do it); how to talk to others about the way ASD impacts you; finding and accessing important campus resources; and making friends who have similar interests. Contact Jennifer Gorski or Lana Roth for a telephone interview and further information.
Cost: free.

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