Support Groups for Autism Caregivers

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: mrios@autismspeaks.org.


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

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center

Sib Shop
Pediatric Development Center
3040 N. Wilton Ave. Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 296-8127; Mainline: 773-296-7340
email: sheila.swann-guerrero@advocatehealth.com

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


Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital 

Children's Health Resource Center
Sibsensations: Program for brothers and sisters of children with special needs

Sibsensations offers support for healthy siblings of children with developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and selected chronic illnesses. Children meet peers with similar experiences in a fun and friendly atmosphere, where they can discuss their common joys and concerns. They learn how to handle aituations they all face regularly and discuss the implications of having a brother or sister with special needs. This is accomplished through games, activities, crafts and age appropriate discussion. Times and ages vary, call for additional information.

Multiple Locations:

Chicago:
Advocate Illinois Masonic
3040 N. Wilton Ave Floor 2
Chicago, IL 60657
773-296-8127

Park Ridge:
Yacktman Children's Pavilion
1675 Dempster, Room Y2109/second floor
Park Ridge, IL
(847) 723-9484

Oak Lawn: 
4440 W. 95th Street
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
708-684-3225


Aspire Children's Services 

Debby Mayo
1815 S. Wolf Road
Hillside, IL 60162
(708) 236-0979
dmayo@aspireofillinois.org

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
Cook County

Sibling support group where the brothers and sisters of children with disabilities are provided an opportunity to share their common experiences and feelings.  The casual atmosphere and recreational activities promote informal sharing and friendships among participants. These workshops typically feature crafts, games, stories, discussion and snacks.

When: call for future date and time.
Ages: 3-16 years.
Cost: free.
No wait list.


Celebrate Differences Sibshops 

Rebecca Christiansen
5375 US HWY 34 Suite 4, Oswego, IL 60543
630-885-3006
info@celebratedifferences.org

Sibling workshops for siblings of individuals with autism. 


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
jessica@thecenterforhopeandhealing.com

Group peer support group and education for siblings of children affected by developmental disorders. Call for meeting days and times. The Center for Hope & Healing is committed to providing therapeutic interventions that optimize the social, emotional, developmental and behavioral needs of children and families affected by autism and related disorders.


Jewish Child and Family Services 

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

JCFS offers Sibshops in Northbrook,IL and the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago for siblings ages 6-12. Sibshops are offered monthly on Sunday afternoons. Teen Sibshops and alternative locations available upon request.


Kankakee Area Sibshop 

Debbie Tamez
Kankakee School District
240 Warren Ave., Kankakee, IL 60901
815-802-7787
debra-tamez@ksd111.org
http://ksd111.org

Sibshop meets the 2nd Saturday of each month except for the summer break we take in July. We meet from 9:00 to 1:00 at Avis Huff school 369 N. 5th Avenue in kankakee. Lunch is provided at no cost.


KGH Autism Services 

Phone: (224) 326-2206
Email: intake@kghautismservices.com
1161 Lake Cook Rd, Deerfield, IL 60015

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.


Lekotek Sibshops 

Lydia Bryant
Lekotek
2001 N CLybourn, Chicago, IL 60614
7735285766 x406
lbryant@lekotek.org

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)
Contact: Patti Boheme
140 N. Wright St.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 281-1895
DuPage County

Workshop geared towards girls who have a brother or sister with autism. During the sibshop, participants will meet other children who experience similar joys and challenges of having a special needs sibling. It will be a safe place to make new friends, discuss feelings and have fun. Participants will be encouraged to share their emotions and help one another to handle difficult situations. Fun activities and snacks will be provided. Group leader: Jennifer Gazda, LSW (runs Sibshops regularly, also a parent of a daughter on the spectrum).

When: call for future date and time.
Ages: 7-9 years (girls).
Cost: $210 (no refunds for missed groups).
No wait list.


Oakhill Wellness & Counseling Center 

Saturday Sibtime
Katherine Kubal, LCSW
Stacey Stewart, LCPC
35 S. Washington St., Suite 300
Naperville, IL 60540
(Catch 35 and Century 21 Building)
(630) 717-9858, ext. 6

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
708-366-2029
cbsloan.rftownship@gmail.com


Rockin the Spectrum

Respite Care Services
Elizabeth – 224-538-9736, email: rockinthespectrum@yahoo.com
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 

Tara Conley
Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters
3800 N. Lakeshore Dr., #3E, Chicago, IL 60613
7089893619
info@sibsnetwork.org

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.

Cost to join: none; donations accepted.


Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL) 

Sheila Geier, SW
17934 Gages Lake Road
Gages Lake, IL 60030
(847) 986-2567
email: sgeier@sedol.us

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
Phone: (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.  


Trinity Services, Inc. 

Autism & Family Resource Center
Sib Shops
Katie Decker
13318 W. Lincoln Highway
New Lenox, IL 60451
(815) 462-4273
kdecker@trinity-services.org

Sib Shops is geared toward helping children meet friends and learning how to cope with the challenges of having siblings affected by autism spectrum disorders.Groups form based on need.


West Suburban Special Recreation Association 

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

Special recreation cooperative.

Support Groups

The Answer, Inc.

Just Between Us
Debra Vines, founder, executive director
Howard Mohr Community Center
7640 Jackson Blvd.
Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 296-5651
dvines0627@yahoo.com or info@theanswerinc.org

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
dvines0627@yahoo.com or info@theanswerinc.org

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
Paige Fumo Fox
1815 S. Wolf Road
Hillside, IL 60162
(708) 236-0979
email: pfumofox@aspireofillinois.org

"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 Home Support Services, Inc.

Parents of TEENS with ASD Support Group
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 Society of Illinois Parent Support Group 

Sarah
Poplar Creek Public Library
1405 South Park Ave.
Streamwood, IL 60107
(630) 691-1270
sarah@autismillinois.org

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 hawkie6@aol.com or call (630) 842-5689.
Meets the second Wednesday of every month.


Autism Parent Support Group 

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

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 

Carol Gilbert
Mokena, IL 60448
Phone: (708) 798-5158
Email: goform@aol.com

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.


BeyondOCD

Betond)CD 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: info@ocdchicago.org or phone (773)880-1635.


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 monthl. Click here for calendar. 


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
Oscar Mayer School
2250 N. Clifton Ave. Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 534-5535
email: mom_of_kaius@yahoo.com

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

Paul Eric Butler, executive director
Easter Seals School and Center for Autism Research
1939 West 13th St., Chicago
pebutler@chicagoautism.org
(773) 329-0375


Community Therapy Services

Coffee Talk Parent Support Group

CTScoffeetalk/tech Facebook Group
2096 Bricher Road
St. Charles, IL 60174
(630) 444-0077
info@ctspediatrics.com

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
Phone: (630) 524-4000
Email: info@coreconnectioncc.com

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.


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. 


Equipped at Willow Creek Community Church 

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

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. 


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)
email: swansond@naperville.il.us

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


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.


Family Resource Center on Disabilities

Location:
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
shircraven@aol.com

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.


The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership - Evanston Autism Spectrum Adult Support Group

Brian Sanborn, regional facilitator
Evanston Northwestern Hospital
2650 Ridge Ave., room 1711
Evanston, IL 60201
(888) 474-7277
info@grasp.org or brian.sanborn@gmail.com

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.


Grupo SALTO 

Contact: Matie Ovalle or Irma Hernandez
(312) 996-0903 (Matie); (312) 413-1819 (Irma)
email: movalle@uic.edu (Matie) or irmah@uic.edu (Irma)


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
info@holisticmoms.org

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)
office@holycrosschurch.org

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.


KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now)

Loyola Park District
1230 West Greenleaf, Chicago, IL 60626
info@keenchicago.org
312-876-2535


KGH Autism Services

Phone: (224) 326-2206
Email: intake@kghautismservices.com
1161 Lake Cook Rd, Deerfield, IL 60015

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
McHenry, IL 60050
(855) 246-8531

info@lccil.org

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)
email: kris@helpingfromheaven.org

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.


Little Friends Center for Autism, Inc.

140 N. Wright St.
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: 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 mades@nssed.org 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
email: bills102@comcast.net


North Suburban Illinois Chapter Autism Society of America 

Location: Skokie Village Hall
5127 W. Oakton
Skokie, IL 60077
(847) 583-5080
email: il-northsuburbanillinois@autismsocietyofamerica.org

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 karen@infeat.org.


Northwest Special Education Forum

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

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


Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization

Linda Hoeck, autism coordinator
Location: NSSEO Admin. Building boardroom
799 W. Kensington Road
Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
(847) 463-8100
lhoeck@nsseo.org

NSSEO helps Northwest Suburban School Districts provide services to children and adolescents.


NSSEO Autism Parent Support Meetings

Northwest Suburban Special Educational Organization

799 W. Kensington Rd.
Mount Prospect, IL 60056
t: 847-463-8100 

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NSSEO/


Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights 

Contact: Liz Sutherland at (224) 764-4032 or Wendi Serna at (847) 749-4099 or email: wserna@theorchardefc.org
Where: 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.


Padres Ayudando Nuestros Ninos con Autismo 

Contacts: Romina Gieseman or Mabel Chirolla
West Chicago Park District Building
157 Washington St.
West Chicago, IL 60185
(630) 876-4460
Cook County
email: jgieseman@gmail.com

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 with EASE (Explaining Autism with Support and Education) 

Autism Family Center
Contacts: Lauren Rabin or Kathryn Jackson
Where: Autism Family Center
560 Green Bay Road Winnetka, IL 60093
emails: laurenrabin@autismfamilycenter.com (Lauren) or kjackson@autismfamilycenter.com (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.


A Place For Me 

Elaine Reeves Haywood
P.O. Box 428196 Evergreen Park, IL 60649
(773) 931-9394
elaine@aplaceforme.net

A Place For Me is a non-for-profit organization advocating and educating families who are affected by autism.


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
email: sarah@autismillinois.org


Pediatric Developmental Center 

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center
Location: 3040 N. Wilton, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 296-7682 

Four-week parent training.


PURE (Parent United for Responsible Education)

Wanda Hopkins
Location: 100 S. Morgan St.
Chicago, IL 60607-2619
(312) 491-9101 or (877) 491-7873
email: pure@pureparents.org

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
708-794-6509

Call for next meeting dates!


Rockin the Spectrum

Respite Care Services
Elizabeth – 224-538-9736
email: rockinthespectrum@yahoo.com
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.


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

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 

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, e-mail: mgolden@sacni.org.


Social Group for Teens and Young Adults with Asperger's Disorder 

Chicago, IL

Monthly 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. Two age groups: 13-16; 16 and up.


Social Group for Teens and Young Adults with Autism/Related Disorders 

Chicago, IL

A way for those with autism and related disorders to form a strong community, share resources and attend social events. CASPAN/Urban Autism Solutions is a meet up site to provide you information about upcoming social events. 


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 

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
email: snsn@comcast.net

When: meets every  fourth Monday (speakers) 7-8:45 p.m.


Special Recreation Association of Central Lake County (SRACLC)

290 Oakwood Road, Vernon Hills, IL 60061
Phone: (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.  


Talk About Curing Autism

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
email: sara_difucci@tacanow.com

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.


Trinity Services Autism and Family Resource Center 

Katie Decker
Location: 13318 W. Lincoln Hwy.
New Lenox, IL 60451
(815) 462-4273
email: kdecker@trinity-services.org

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


University of Illinois Department of Disability and Human Development 

GRUPO SALTO
Contact: Matie Ovalle
Location: 1640 W. Roosevelt Road, MC727
Chicago, IL 60608-6904
(312) 996-0903 or (773) 313-6524
Cook County
email: movalle@uic.edu

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: $5 donation


University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) 

Department of Disability and Human Development
Self-Advocacy Social Skills Groups

Where:
UIC
1747 W. Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 413-4624

Free to 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.


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.