Support Groups for Autism Caregivers

Community Awareness Groups

Autism Speaks (Government Affairs)

Sign up for legislation updates. 

Autism Speaks (Student Clubs) 

To join a Student Club.

Autism Speaks 

Volunteering has a meaningful, positive impact on your community. People who volunteer improve their self-esteem and their self-confidence, decrease their stress levels and suffer less physical illnesses as well as less depression. For volunteering opportunities, please contact Mary Rios at (224) 567-8573 or email:

Bridges for Autism Foundation

Their goal is to end apathy and raise consciousness about autism spectrum disorders throughout the community with current literature, conferences, fundraisers and up-to-date information via their website or contact Marcia Biordi-Brown at (847) 444-0019.

Sibling Support Groups

AARTS (autism) Center at Rush 

1645 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 603 Chicago, IL 60612
Maria Aguilar:

The AARTS Center at Rush provides monthly SibShops to children ages 5-9 and 10-14. Groups occur monthly and are free of charge. 

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center

Sib Shop - Pediatric Development Center
913 W. Wellington Ave., 3rd Floor Chicago, IL 60657

Peer support and educational programs for siblings, who have a brother or sister with a disability or chronic condition. Sessions for both young children (ages 5-12 years old; $30/session) and teens (ages 13-18; $15/session). Partial scholarships are available.

Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital 

Children's Health Resource Center - Sibsensations: Program for brothers and sisters of children with special needs
Park Ridge: Yacktman Children's Pavilion: 1675 Dempster, Room Y2109/second floor: (847) 723-9484
Oak Lawn:  4440 W. 95th Street: 708-684-3225

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 situations 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. Times and ages vary, call for additional information.

Aspire Children's Services

1815 S. Wolf Road Hillside, IL 60162
(708) 236-0979
Debby Mayo:

Quarterly sibshops: activities, games and sharing for children five and older who have brothers or sisters with special needs.

Aspire Kids

Robin Schroud, associate director of inclusion & community initiatives
3235 W. Montrose Ave Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 878-7868 ext. 3223

Free sibling support group where the brothers and sisters of children with disabilities, ages 3 - 16, 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.

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

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.

Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana

Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana is dedicated to helping people with disabilities become as independent as possible, while also providing support and resources for family members. Youth services include: Social groups for ages 6-22 (divided by age) for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities are eligible to participate. We also offer a Dream Teens program for students ages 14 to 22 and Sibshops. 

Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley

(630) 620-4433
Elgin, Naperville and Villa Park 

Autism services include Behavior therapy, Feeding Therapy, Speech Therapy, Assistive Technology Therapy, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Nutritional Therapy. Additionally, diagnostic evaluations, parent training and parent/sibling support groups available. Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley offers these services at centers in Villa Park, Naperville, and Elgin. 

Jewish Child and Family Services

JCFS Sibshops
Primary Contact: Tammy Besser
255 Revere Drive, Suite 200, Northbrook, IL 60062
(773) 467-3751

JCFS offers in-person and virtual ShipShops for siblings ages 6-12. Teen Sibshops and alternative locations available upon request. View upcoming dates here. 

Kankakee Area Sibshop

Debbie Tamez
Kankakee School District 240 Warren Ave., Kankakee, IL 60901

Sibshop meets the 2nd Saturday of each month except for the summer break we take in July. We meet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Avis Huff school 369 N. 5th Avenue in Kankakee. Lunch is provided at no cost. 

Lekotek Sibshops

2001 N Clybourn, Chicago, IL 60614
773-528-5766 x406

Lekotek Sibshops is a playful and therapeutic program that is designed for children 8-13 who have a sibling with a special need. Sibshops is a place were these siblings can come together to have fun, make friends and talk about the complexities of living with their siblings, all with other kids who are going through the same thing.

Little Friends Center for Autism: Sibshops (Sibling Support Group)

140 N. Wright St. Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 281-1895

Workshop geared toward 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).

NWSRA Sibshops

LJ Jevaney,
847-392-2848 ext. 246.

Sibshops provide opportunities for the siblings of children with disabilities the chance to meet, and engage in peer support in a recreational setting. They are able to meet new friends, hang out and participate in a wide variety of recreational activities!  Sibshops are intended for siblings of children with disabilities ages 8-12 years old. Available in English and Spanish.

Northern Will County Special Recreation Association

10 Montrose Dr. Romeoville, IL 60446

NWCSRA provides Sibshops - Age Group: 5-12 Siblings of children with special needs have unique needs too. This class will be a place where your child can connect with others like them, have time dedicated to them, talk about their brother/sister and most of all have FUN! 

Oakhill Wellness & Counseling Center 

35 S. Washington St., Suite 300 Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 717-9858, ext. 6

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.

Options & Advocacy 

365 Millennium Dr., Suite A Crystal Lake, IL 60012
(815) 477-4720, ext. 233

This program connects families to diagnostic locations, provided resources and referrals, helps to create a service plan for the families short and long term goals, provides consultation and advocacy, offers parent support group opportunities and support individuals with an ASD through Game Nights and other social opportunities. Sibshops for siblings available.

River Forest Township Sibshops 

Carla Sloan
8020 Madison, River Forest, IL 60305

Rockin the Spectrum

Respite Care Services
Elizabeth – 224-538-9736, email:
Located in Antioch – They serve, McHenry, DuPage, Cook and Lake Counties

Offering in-home support and care for your loved ones with disabilities, specializing in Autism. Services include: Respite/Care for all ages, Daily Living Skills training/Personal Support Worke, Parents support group and siblings support group.

SIBS Network Sibshops 

Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters
3800 N. Lakeshore Dr., #3E, Chicago, IL 60613

Sibshops are peer gatherings that include open and lively conversations, recreational and educational activities which gives the siblings a chance to meet with other kids their age with similar family dynamics.

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. Free to join; donations accepted.

Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL) 

17934 Gages Lake Road Gages Lake, IL 60030
(847) 986-2567

SEDOL Sibshop are at Laremont School for children who have a sibling with a cognitive, physical, and/or medical disability.

Special Recreation Association of Central Lake County (SRACLC) 

290 Oakwood Road, Vernon Hills, IL 60061
(847) 816-4866

Special recreation cooperative that serves seven communities: Vernon Hills, Lake Zurich, Mundelein, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Grayslake, and Hawthorn Woods. Provides programming for individuals, families, and SibShops for siblings of individuals with disabilities.  

Thrive Counseling Services

(708) 383-7500

Sibshops is designed especially for brothers and sisters of children with special needs, including developmental and physical disabilities or emotional and mental health challenges. Participants engage in fun activities with other siblings of kids with special needs and have an opportunity to share with trained facilitators in age-appropriate breakout sessions. Sibshops is appropriate for siblings in grades 1-7. $10 per session. To learn more or to register for a group, please call our office.

Trinity Services, Inc. 

Autism & Family Resource Center - Sib Shops
13318 W. Lincoln Highway New Lenox, IL 60451
(815) 462-4273

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. Groups form based on need.

West Suburban Special Recreation Association 

2915 Maple St., Franklin Park, IL 60131
(847) 455-2100

Special recreation cooperative.

Support Groups

A Place For Me 

Elaine Reeves Haywood
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.

Ascension: Autism Spectrum and Developmental Disorders Resource Center

1786 Moon Lake Blvd. Suite 202, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Provides parent support groups (virtual) in English and Spanish. Contact to be added to the list

Asperger/Autism Network (AANE)

ANE offers a variety of support groups for parents and community connection sessions, along with two Online Google Group Discussion Forums, one for Parents of Children and one for Parents of Teens to help you feel less alone and more empowered. Click to view programs for Parents of Children, Teens, and Young Adults (through age 22) or to view Parents/Families of Adults 23 years old and older.

The Answer, Inc.

Debra Vines, founder, executive director
Howard Mohr Community Center -  7640 Jackson Blvd. Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 296-5651
The Answer Inc:

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.

The Answer, Inc.

Support Group Just for Men
7600 W. Roosevelt Road Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 296-5651
The Answer Inc:

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.

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.

Aspire Children's Services 

Eamon Shannon Center: 1815 S. Wolf Road Hillside, IL 60162
(708) 236-0979

"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. Call for future dates/times.

Autism Grandparents Club

Includes blog of grandparent-specific content, an around-the-clock online forum that enables members to post and respond and an options to submit confidential questions and comments to experts.

Autism Grandparent Support Group through AANE 

Support Group for Grandparents – runs twice a month. Get notified when openings are available here.

Autism Home Support Services, Inc.

85 Revere Drive, Suite AA Northbrook, IL 60062
(847) 563-4149

A parent support group for you to share your joys and challenges of parenting teenagers with ASD, gain knowledge and create friendships in a supportive environment. The therapist, Laura M. Koerner, LCPC will facilitate the group by discussing relevant topics, bringing in educational information and providing presentations on topics desired by the group. Parents only. Bring your questions, topic ideas and stories to share! This group is RSVP only so please email me or call me to sign up! Limited space; no insurance (payment at the door). Group meets second Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $20 (per session).

Autism Speaks Facebook Group: Navigating A New Autism Diagnosis – An Autism Speaks Community

For individuals and caretakers that need support navigating a new diagnosis of ASD. The general purpose is to be informative and supportive. All posts will be moderated before they are posted to the group to make sure that they are within the group rules. Group members must be 18 years of age or older. 

Autism Society of Illinois Parent Support Group 

Poplar Creek Public Library: 1405 South Park Ave. Streamwood, IL 60107
(630) 691-1270

Parent support group

Autism and Special Needs Parent Support Group 

Stacie from Meetup Mothers of Autism
Aurora, IL

Kids are welcome to meetings. For more details, please e-mail Stacie at or call (630) 842-5689. Meets the second Wednesday of every month.

Autism Parent Support Group 

Schaumburg School District 54
Collins Elementary School 407 S. Summit Drive, rooms 107 and 108 Schaumburg, IL 60193
(630) 736-2506
Jane Jedlicka:

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.

Autism Support Group of the South Suburbs 

Mokena, IL 60448
(708) 798-5158
Carol Gilbert:

They are a parent-led support group for parents of children with autism that meets monthly. Contact the email for more information on how to join.

C.I.T.Y. of Support

Free parent group that links families, primarily in the NW suburbs, to parent meetup and child playdate events. Events occur several times per month. Click here for calendar. 

Chicago Special Kids 

Laura Rodriguez, group organizer
Oscar Mayer School 2250 N. Clifton Ave. Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 534-5535

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. Call or email for updated information.

Chicagoland Autism Connection Monthly Meeting
9449 S. Kedzie Ste#268, Evergreen Park, Il 60805
(773) 329-0375

The Chicagoland Autism Connection (CAC) is a not-for profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to increase autism awareness and improve the quality of life for children and adults with autism.  With monthly parent meetings, the "Spring Fling for Autism Awareness" Resource Fair, a summer picnic and pool party, the fall "Night of Stars" Dinner Dance, and numerous other activities, the CAC strives to support families affected by this devastating neurological disorder and the professionals who work with them. Through its two divisions - the Chicago Southside Autism Support Group (CSASG) and the "A" Team Social and Recreational Club - CAC continues to work toward the fulfillment of its mission

Community Therapy Services

Coffee Talk Parent Support Group: CTScoffeetalk/tech Facebook Group
2096 Bricher Road St. Charles, IL 60174
(630) 444-0077

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.

CORE Connection Counseling 

6040 State Route 53, Suite B Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 524-4000

We provide individual counseling, parenting and family support, social & cognitive skills groups, & emotional regulation groups which include:  Social CBT, Social Theatre ™ and Zen Zones which blends the Zones of Regulation™ curriculum  with Yoga Kids.

Early Life Parent Support Group 

Facilitator: Eileen Lane, LCPC
Holy Spirit Catholic Community: 2003 Hassert Blvd. Naperville, IL 60564
(630) 922-0081 or (630) 922-0081 (Cindi Swanson, MSW)

Network opportunity and support group for families with children ages zero to three with a disability diagnosis. Call for date of upcoming meeting.

Easterseals Central Illinois

507 East Armstrong Avenue, Peoria, IL 61603-3201 
(309) 686-1177

Provides interdisciplinary pediatric therapy and support for the whole child, and your whole family. Services include: Early Intervention, Feeding therapy, Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Counseling. Additional autism services include ABA, DIR/Floortime, assistive technology clinics, adaptive swim lessons, care management, diagnostic evaluations, social skills groups, residential day camp and parent training. 

Easterseals Chicagoland & Greater Rockford 
1939 West 13th Street, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60608-1226

Autism services include screening and diagnostics (ages 3-12), parent training, individual therapy, parent support groups, and resource support. Therapeutic day school programming available children ages 5-21. 

Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley

Locations in: Elgin, Naperville and Villa Park 
(630) 620-4433

Autism services include Behavior therapy, Feeding therapy, Speech Therapy, Assistive Technology therapy, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Nutritional therapy. Additionally, diagnostic evaluations, parent training and parent/sibling support groups available. Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley offers these services at centers in Villa Park, Naperville, and Elgin. 

Easterseals Joliet  - Easterseals Joliet – Caregiver Support Group 

Serving Will, Grundy, Kendall, Kankakee, Ford & Iroquois Counties
212 Barney Drive Joliet, IL  60435

Support group provides a time of education, sharing, caregiver support, and to enjoy the company of other caregivers. The clinic also provides parent inclusive childcare during meetings. 

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.

Equipped at Willow Creek Community Church 

67 E. Algonquin Road South Barrington, IL 60010
(847) 404-7452

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. Call for next meeting dates and times. Teen and Young Adult groups also available. 

Every Step of the Way Resource Center for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Tiffoni T. Stepney, Founder & Board President
3400 W. 111th Street Chicago, IL 60655 
(773) 231-6376

Specializes in supporting families of adults with mild to profound intellectual disabilities ages 20 and up. ESW provides virtual support through individualized resources and/or referrals to clients that desire information in regard to recreation, education, health, social & daily living skills, & behavioral intervention. ESW provides free intake sessions, as well as free or low-cost ongoing individualized support.  See upcoming news and events here.

Family Resource Center on Disabilities

20 E. Jackson Blvd., room 300 Chicago, IL 60604
(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." Call or go online for next meeting and/or training times. 

Fearless Grandparents Against Autism 

Shirley Craven, PhD
(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.

Grandparent Autism Network

Based in California, but has resources that can be accessible nation-wide. The Grandparent Autism Network informs grandparents about autism and the medical, educational, legal and social issues that affect their families, enabling them to share how they may improve the quality of life for their children and grandchildren. 

Have Dreams

Lora Slutsky, 

Free ASD parent/caregiver support group; occurs monthly. Contact for registration. 

Heartland Community Church - Parent Support Group

1280 S. Alpine Road
Rockford, IL 61108
(815) 395-8000

Heartland Community Church offers a support group for parents of children of any age with special needs, and childcare is available.

The Holistic Moms

Chicago and Western Suburb Chapters

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
29700 St. Mary’s Road
P.O. Box 726, room 208 Libertyville, IL 60048
(847) 287-0569 (Pastor Joleen)
(847) 680-8362 (Lisa Dunbar)

Support group for parents who have children with special needs. Participants may attend whether they are members of Holy Cross or not. 

IPADDUnite - Online Parent Support Forum 

IPADDUnite is a Facebook group for parents/caretakers of children, teens and adults adult family member with a developmental disabilities. IPADD's purpose is to give Illinois parents, self-advocates, adult sibs and others who care a dedicated online platform for networking, advocacy and information-sharing so we know what's happening around the state, and can take action in our own local communities. We all learn from each other. 

KGH Autism Services

1161 Lake Cook Rd, Deerfield, IL 60015
(224) 326-2206

Specializing in developmental-based ABA therapy (NDBI, ESDM) for infants, toddlers and preschoolers with ASD, in the home or at their specialized center. Providing therapeutic preschool and kindergarten, SLP, OT, mental health, parent training, sibling support, social groups, community support, significant problematic behavior support (FA) from early childhood through young adulthood. KGH also offers a Teen & Young Adult Center with a teaching apartment for teaching life skills. Serving Chicagoland, North Shore, West Suburbs, Northwest Suburbs, and Far North Suburbs. KGH has been supporting children and families for over 19 years.

Lake County Center for Independent Living (LCCIL)

Lake County Office: 377 N. Seymour Ave. Mundelein, IL 60060
(847) 949-4440
McHenry County Office: 5400 W. Elm Street, Suite 106
(855) 246-8531

Provides information & referrals service, independent life skills training, peer mentoring, advocacy and transition services.

Lexi Kazian Foundation-Helping From Heaven

Holy Cross Lutheran Church: 27900 N. St. Mary's Road Libertyville, IL 60048
(847) 729-5739 (Amanda)
(847) 367-4060 (Pastor Joleen)

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.

LULA - Latinas United in Love for Autism

LULA is a Chicago-based peer support group for women parenting or supporting an individual with Autism.

Meetup: Parents of Children on the Autism Spectrum (AD,SPD,PDD-NOS)

This is a play/support group for parents who have children with sensory issues,autism, aspergers, etc. I have found that it can be tough going through this as a parent and very confusing. I would love to meet other parents going through the same thing and give the kids a playgroup with buddies that are like them.

Western suburbs

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

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.

Monday Morning Series

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. 2211.
Questions: Sue Hans (847) 831-5100, ext. 228
NW Suburban Chapter of Autism Illinois, Hoffman Estates: Chapter President Kym Bills (630) 523-1390 or

National Autistic Society (based in UK)

Family relationships guide for children of autistic parents & online help and discussion forums.

North Suburban Illinois Chapter Autism Society of America 

Skokie Village Hall: 5127 W. Oakton Skokie, IL 60077
(847) 583-5080

Guest speakers at most meetings to discuss autism spectrum disorders.Call or email for next meeting dates and times.

North Suburban Parents of Special Needs Kids - Online Forum

This online group has been formed as an outlet to share resources, kvetch, ask questions and get advice about your child with special needs (all levels from learning disability to severe challenges, developmental and medical). Parents and professionals who live in Chicago north and northwest suburbs are welcome, but please, no soliciting of services. 

Northwest Indiana Families for Effective Autism Treatment

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 Special Education Forum

NSSEO Admin. Building boardroom: 799 W. Kensington Road Mount  Prospect, IL 60056
(847) 463-8100

NSSEO helps Northwest Suburban School Districts provide services to children and adolescents. Call for next meetings times. 

NSSEO Autism Parent Support Meetings

Northwest Suburban Special Educational Organization
799 W. Kensington Rd. Mount Prospect, IL 60056

Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights 

Liz Sutherland at (224) 764-4032;
Wendi Serna at (847) 749-4099 or email:
1330 N. Douglas Avenue Arlington Heights, IL 60004

Special needs parent network. Call or email for updated meeting time and childcare information. 

Options & Advocacy 

365 Millennium Dr., Suite A Crystal Lake, IL 60012
(815) 477-4720, ext. 233

This program connects families to diagnostic locations, provided resources and referrals, helps to create a service plan for the families short and long term goals, provides consultation and advocacy, offers parent support group opportunities and support individuals with an ASD through Game Nights and other social opportunities. Sibshops for siblings available.

Parent with EASE (Explaining Autism with Support and Education) 

Autism Family Center 560 Green Bay Road Winnetka, IL 60093 (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. Call for information on times and childcare.

Parent Support Group 

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

Parents of Extraordinary Children (PExC)

9100 S. Burley Avenue, Chicago, IL 60617
(312) 600-5479

Nonprofit organization providing virtual support groups and resource events to parents and caregivers of individuals with varying disabilities. The Support Group operates monthly, inviting various organizations to present on a variety of topics for families of those with Special Needs. To join the support group, visit the Facebook page or email.  For residents of the 10th ward within the Far Southeast side and surrounding areas, PExC also provides access to their Therapeutic Sensory Gym and Resource Center (by appointment only), offering non-clinical parent-child sensory visits, limited printing and laminating, as well as access to computers for connecting to and applying for resources. Geared toward the school age population: ages 3 to 22yrs.  

PURE (Parent United for Responsible Education)

Wanda Hopkins
100 S. Morgan St. Chicago, IL 60607-2619
(312) 491-9101 or (877) 491-7873

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.

Parent Support Group: Homewood 

Kara Wilson 
18324 Ashland Ave. Homewood, IL

Call for next meeting dates.

Rockin the Spectrum

Respite Care Services
Elizabeth – 224-538-9736
Located in Antioch – They serve, McHenry, DuPage, Cook and Lake Counties

Offering in-home support and care for your loved ones with disabilities, specializing in Autism. Services include: Respite/Care for all ages, Daily Living Skills training/Personal Support Worker, Parents support group and siblings support group.

Schaumburg School District 54 

Jane Jedlicka
Collins Elementary School
407 S. Summit Drive, Room 108 (parents) and Room 107 (children) Schaumburg, IL 60193
(630) 736-2506 or (847) 357-6100

Free 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.

Self-Advocacy Council of Northern Illinois 

McHenry County College: 8900 U.S. Highway 14 Crystal Lake, IL 60012

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.

South West Special Recreation Association

Apollo Recreation Center - Support Group
12521 S. Kostner Ave. Alsip, IL 60803
(708) 389-9423

Free support group for parents or caregivers of individuals with special needs. Topics and speakers vary each meeting.

Special Needs Family & Caregiver Connection of SW Cook & Will Counties

An online forum (Facebook) to connect families in need with experienced caregivers.

Special Needs Support Network of Lake Zurich and Surrounding Communities 

Alpine Chapel - Miller and Echo Lake Road Lake Zurich, IL
(847) 726-2113

Special Recreation Association of Central Lake County (SRACLC)

290 Oakwood Road, Vernon Hills, IL 60061
(847) 816-4866

Special recreation cooperative that serves seven communities: Vernon Hills, Lake Zurich, Mundelein, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Grayslake, and Hawthorn Woods. Provides programming for individuals, families, and SibShops for siblings of individuals with disabilities.  

Spectrum – Autism Support, Education  & Resources  

Partner Support Group  
Facilitator: Cheryl Rhodes, LMFT
Monthly Support Group (currently virtual): The Partner Support Group is for those in neurodiverse relationships with a spouse/partner who has a confirmed or suspected autism spectrum profile. The group meeting is a positive and supportive time to share experiences, gain information and understanding about how neurodiversity affects couple relationships.

Trinity Services Autism and Family Resource Center

13318 W. Lincoln Hwy. New Lenox, IL 60451
(815) 462-4273

Parents should call ahead to register. Upcoming topics include: applied behavior analysis, increasing appropriate behavior, functional language training, managing challenging behavior.

Year-Round Mental Illness Support Group

NAMI Support Group; 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.

Support Groups (Spanish)

AANE Grupo de Apoyo en Línea 

Amaya Salas Moggia 

Grupos de Apoyo en Línea para Padres de niños, adolescentes y adultos jóvenes con Autismo/Asperger.

Ascension Health Autism Spectrum and Developmental Disorders Resource Center

1786 Moon Lake Blvd. Suite 202, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Grupos de apoyo para padres (virtuales) en inglés y español. Contacto para agregar a la lista.

Autism Society Southeastern Wisconsin: Café con Daysi

Grupo Latino (virtual)
Café con Daysi es un grupo de apoyo, un espacio de reflexión y comprensión donde los padres con hijos diagnosticados con trastorno del espectro autista (ASD), pueden conectarse con otros padres para desarrollar habilidades y conocer recursos que pueden ayudar a la familia.

El Valor 

Erica Fernandez  -
(312) 666-4511 ext.12267

Ofrece grupos de apoyo y talleres  para padres cada mes. Contactese con Erica Fernandez para obtener mas informacion. 

Facebook group: ASSEW Latinos Unidos por Autismo 

Este grupo es una extensión de nuestro grupo mensual de apoyo para Latinos Unidos por Autismo. Queremos que este lugar sea un lugar seguro para compartir y conocer a otros padres que podrían beneficiarse de nuestra comunidad. Haga preguntas, comparta recursos y eche una mano cuando pueda. Preséntate y cuéntanos en qué condado vives 

Family Resource Center on Disabilities (FRCD - Centro de Recursos Familiares sobre Discapacidades)

20 E. Jackson Blvd., room 300 Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 939-5313

El Proyecto de Apoyo Familiar proporciona servicios de apoyo individualizados para familias de Chicago de bajos ingresos. FRCD lleva a cabo seminarios gratuitos de capacitación sobre derechos de educación especial en inglés y español. Los temas incluyen "Estrategias para trabajar con la escuela", "Comprender los puntajes de las pruebas de su hijo" y "Cómo medir el progreso de su hijo". Llame o conéctese en línea para conocer los horarios de la próxima reunión y/o capacitación.

Grupo SALTO 

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

Grupos de Apoyo en Línea para Padres o familias de niños, adolescentes y adultos jóvenes con Autismo/Asperger.

LULA - Latinas United in Love for Autism

LULA es un grupo de apoyo entre pares con sede en Chicago para mujeres que crían o apoyan a una persona con autismo.

Resource Center for Autism and Developmental Delays (RCADD)

RCADD at FAST West - Garfield Community Service Center
10 South Kedzie, Room 202 Chicago, IL 60612
RCADD at FAST South - King Community Service Center
4314 South Cottage Grove, Room 103 Chicago, IL 60653

El Centro de recursos comparte recursos, información de referencia y capacitaciones para familias y educadores de niños con discapacidades del desarrollo.