When you are raising a child with developmental challenges, you may feel alone in your journey. That is why it is sometimes helpful to connect with other parents or families who can relate to your particular circumstances. We invite you to review the support groups we have identified here on our website or contact our Family Resource Specialist for other potential sources of parental support.
Adoptive Families Today Chicago
Various groups listed on the website.
CHS Youth Connections Program
Formerly known as CHOICES for Parents, CHS Youth Connections Program is a statewide advisory committee of parents and professionals ensuring that children who are Deaf, Deafblind, and Hard of Hearing, and their families, connect with the necessary resources, advocacy, information, services, and support within the home, school, and community. Their Children & Hearing Loss Resource Notebook for Illinois Families is filled with information about hearing levels, early intervention, technology, education, pediatricians, and more.
Down Syndrome Developmental Council, DDC
Down Syndrome Support - South Suburbs
The Chicagoland Buddy Walk is run by parents and families of individuals with Down syndrome. Once a year we have a 1-mile walk to support local individuals and groups involved with making a better life in the Down syndrome world. Not only do we have a beautiful walk, we also have many other family activities to enjoy throughout the day. Please check the Walk Schedule for a list of this year's events.
Easter Seals DuPage and the Fox Valley Region
Parent Groups coordinated by Parent Liaisons, Cara Long and Sharon Pike call: 630-620-4433.
Has been an indispensable resource for people and families, including Veterans, challenged by disability for nearly 100 years. Through a network of 73 locations across the country, Easterseals provides a wide range of services including autism services, daycare, therapy, accessibility services, respite, camps and recreation, and more.
Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago
An Illinois not-for-profit organization serving 43 counties, the foundation offers counseling, advocacy and educational services to people with epilepsy, their families, and the communities in which they live. Services include information about epilepsy, training and education, case management, programs for children and adults, support groups, legal help, and much more.
Equip for Equality
Works to advance the human and civil rights of people with disabilities in Illinois. EFE provides publications, events and disability-rights trainings to help people with disabilities and their families become better advocates for their rights.
Family Ideas Network for Down Syndrome, FINDS
A McHenry County, Illinois, not-for-profit all volunteer support organization, maximizing the potential of each individual person with Down Syndrome and improving the quality of their lives by sharing ideas, exploring new concepts, and celebrating successes together. FINDS provides Bi-Monthly Newsletters, Social Events, Educational Services, and Family Support.
Family Support Network
A program of the ARC of Illinois, the FSN works to unify individuals with disabilities and their families to advocate for funding, services and community resources that strengthen and support the individual and the family directly by responding to their individual needs and empowering them to live in their own homes and seeks to ensure the continuation of all individual supports throughout the life span of the individual.
Gigi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center
Works to change the way the world views Down syndrome through national campaigns, educational programs, and by empowering individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community. Free therapeutic and educational programming for individuals with Down syndrome and their families. Local locations.
Hearing Loss of America
Local chapters listed on website.
Illinois Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, Inc.
Visit the website for a listing of local meeting groups.
Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA, IPSN- District 204
Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA (IPSN) serves all schools located in District 204.
We are committed to partnering with the district to create a more inclusive educational experience for all children who require a special education plan.
Membership is open to EVERYONE!
Jewish Children and Family Services (JCFS)
JCFS Chicago strives to enhance social-emotional well-being for adults, children, teens and families, and to maximize potential for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They provide a wide range of services, from counseling and psychological evaluation, pediatric therapies, autism and disorders, early childhood development, to legal advocacy and more. Informative website blogs include tips, stories and strategies.
MOCHA, Mothers of Children Having Allergies
MOCHA (Mothers of Children Having Allergies) is a group of parents sharing information and supporting each other. The 700+ Chicagoland members of MOCHA know how frightening it can be to learn that your child has been diagnosed with severe, often life-threatening allergies.
Mothers of Multiples Support Group
Serving Chicago and surrounding suburbs
Parent Apraxia Support/Education Group of Aurora
Contact: Leslie Lindsey
PASS 39, Parents Association for Student Services-Wilmette District 39
The Parent Association for Student Services in District 39 is a parent organization committed to supporting parents of children with disabilities.
Mission Statement PASS39 members will facilitate and promote communication and teamwork between parents of children who receive support and services in District 39 schools and the district staff.
Poca of DuPage (POCA) Parents of Children with Allergies
Rett Syndrome Association of Illinois
Welcome to the Rett Syndrome Association of Illinois. We are dedicated to developing awareness and understanding of, and furthering the advancement of research for Rett Syndrome. Rett Syndrome Association of Illinois (RSAI) serves as a support system, and provides resources for families and friends.
SEDOL, Special Education District of Lake County- Parent Support Group Resources
Contact: Priscilla Cuba, Parent Mentor at 847-548-2577 x 36
Selective Mutism Support Group
Parent support group for families of children with Selective Mutism.
Contact: Kathy Slattery
SERG, Special Education Resource Group - Elmhurst District 205
SERG = Special Education Resource Group
SERG is committed to helping all children with special needs reach their full potential.
SERG is a group of parents and educators that provides programs, resources and networking opportunities to support families of children with special needs.
SERG is organized and funded by the District 205 schools' PTAs.
To support parents of children with special needs from ages 3 to 21 by...
SIBS, Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters
S.I.B.S. champions siblings of people with disabilities in Illinois, through Sibshops, sibling support groups, and relevant resources to enhance the quality of life for siblings and families alike.
SPARK, Special Education Parents Accessing Resources and Knowledge - Palatine District 15
Welcome Parents to SPARK! (Special Education Parents Accessing Resources and Knowledge) SPARK meetings are designed to give parents information to help them in their current and future steps of the journey of parenting children with unique needs. As parents, we guide and make decisions for our children and their development. The task can be overwhelming and we want nothing more than to be as informed as we can be when we set the course we believe our child should take.
North-West Suburban parent support group for families of children with cerebral palsy and other motor impairments.
Contact: Cindy Guererro
Special Needs Parent Network (SNaP'N) of the Orchard Evangelical Free Church of Arlington Heights
SNaP’N (Special Needs Parent Network) meets the second Monday of each month September-May. Parents of children/adults with special needs gather for a time in God’s Word, prayer and occasional outside speakers. Volunteer caregivers are provided for all children/adults with special needs and their siblings.
Contact: Wendi Serna or 847-852-2204
The Windy City/Chicagoland Apraxia Network
Contact: Holly Olmsted-Hickey
United Parent Support for Down Syndrome, UPS for DownS
Started in the Chicago area over 35 years ago, the organization prides itself on being run and organized entirely by volunteers - mostly parents and family members. Reaching far beyond the metro Chicago area, UPS for DownS provides trainings, education, information and community opportunities in order to create communities that are diverse, welcoming and inclusive.
Waukegan CUSD #6 Parent to Parent Special Education Network
This group is designed to provide a network of support for Diverse Learners families, and meets at least quarterly to discuss a variety of important topics and resources.
Contact Parent and Community Partnership Coordinator, Tim Kirschner at firstname.lastname@example.org
West Suburban Parent Support Group for Down Syndrome
Willow Friends of Willow Creek Church South Barrington
Willow Friends offers a diverse community with a heart for individuals with special needs and the family, friends, and fans who support.