UPDATED OCTOBER 2014: Raising a child with special needs can be challenging. Find support by connecting with other families, parents, and caregivers in your community who have kids with special needs. Read on to find a group in Fairfield county and the surrounding areas.
Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center
860-739-3089; toll free: 800-445-2722
338 Main St., Niantic
This advocacy agency empowers families to become self-advocates for children with special needs. If parents need a support group, CPAC will help find support groups in their area.
Autism Parent’s Club
Patti Sylvia: 203-761-0248; firstname.lastname@example.org
This group, which meets the last Tuesday of every month at 7:30pm at John’s Best Restaurant (1 Danbury Road, Wilton), gives parents of children on the autism spectrum a chance to support each other.
Autism Spectrum Resource Center
101 N. Plains Industrial Road, Harvest Park Building A, Wallingford
For individuals, families, and professionals involved with autism spectrum disorders. Offers resources, parent support groups for those with children of various ages, workshops, conferences, and other services.
Connecticut Family Support Network
The Connecticut Family Support Network is a statewide resource for parents and family members of children and adults with disabilities and special health care needs. CTFSN is committed to helping families, individuals, and professionals find information, resources, and support for individuals who have disabilities or special health care needs.
Epilepsy Support Groups (through Epilepsy Foundation of CT)
Dedicated to improving the lives of people with epilepsy and their families through programs, services, and the five local support groups listed online.
Family Resources Consultation Services (through Abilis)
1150 Summer St., Stamford
Monica Smyth: email@example.com
Ida Lupinacci: firstname.lastname@example.org
This program offers year-round support for families by facilitating networking with other local parents, and provides information about recreation, special education, community resources, and advocacy.
Friends of Autistic People
974 North St., Greenwich
Nonprofit advocacy organization. A parents’ support group dedicated to bringing about an environment where anyone with autism can be assured of high-quality care. Networking Moms support group meets the last Monday of every month.
The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership Support Group
1080 Old Post Road, Fairfield
Offers a peer-run support group that tackles issues such as family, anxiety, and assimilation. Membership is free.
Litchfield County Autism Spectrum Association
Sharon Cable: 860-693-9128
Robert Beck, Ph.D.: 860-738-6386
This group, facilitated by Sharon Cable (parent) and Dr. Robert Beck (NCCC faculty member and director of the Behavioral Studies program in the college), offers a support group for parents and caregivers of children with autism the second Thursday of each month at 6:30pm.
North Star Support Group for Parents of Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders or Developmental Delays
First Congregational Church of Derby
137 Derby Ave., Derby
A friendly and supportive place to meet other parents, learn from each other, and access resources. Meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month from 7-9pm.
Parent Chat through Kidsteps Family & Children’s Center, a division of SARAH Inc.
246 Goose Lane, Suite 101, Guilford
The mission of the Family and Children Center is to meet the needs of families who are concerned about their child’s social, emotional, and physical development, as well as their educational success.
847 Post Road, Darien
Pizza Moms is a support group for moms with children that have special needs. It meets the first Tuesday of every month at 7:30pm at the Post Corner Pizza Restaurant (847 Post Road, Darien).
Rhythms of Grace
St. John’s Episcopal Church
51 Church St., Pine Meadow
Locations throughout Connecticut and New York
Comprised of a team of professionals in Christian Formation, Special Education, and Sacramental Liturgics that developed a fun, play-based curriculum for children with special needs and their parents and caregivers that honors the Anglican tradition and maintains a dignified liturgy.
SEPTO Network (Special Education Parent Teacher Organization Network)
Based in Milford, includes multiple CT towns
SEPTO Network is designed to provide vital information and support, help parents understand special education issues, equip parents to hold schools accountable for effective educational results, and advance the quality of special education services.
Shoreline CT Down Syndrome Support Group
Ellen Nixon: 203-421-3591
A casual and relaxed support group for parents, siblings, and friends of children with Down syndrome in which they gather informally and periodically to discuss current issues and support each other.
Special Education PTA Inc., Fairfield
Shannon Goodchild, president
The association speaks on behalf of youth in the schools, in the community, and before governmental bodies and other organizations that make decisions affecting children; helps parents develop the skills needed to raise and protect their children; and encourages parent and public involvement in the public schools in Fairfield.
St. Vincent’s Autism and Developmental Services
47 Long Lots Road, Westport
Provides children and teen social skills groups, sibling groups, parent support groups, and parent workshops. In addition, the center’s multi-disciplinary team offers diagnostic testing and evaluation, clinical counseling, and educational support.
St. Vincent’s Special Needs Family Center
St. Vincent’s Special Needs Services Family Center, 95 Merritt Blvd., Trumbull
Family Support staff members combine their personal and professional experience to assist families with specific questions and concerns by offering community resource information and advocacy support, as well as the empathetic ear of someone who has been there. Parent coffee meetings once a month where the center will bring in a community speaker to talk about programs that help parents who have children with special needs; call for dates.
STAR Foundation Inc.
182 Wolfpit Ave., Norwalk
This nonprofit serves individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities, provides services to their families, and creates opportunities for individuals to lead full lives with independence, freedom of choice, and personal growth.
Tourette Syndrome Association Connecticut Chapter
The mission is to educate the general public about TS, to nurture a feeling of acceptance and tolerance toward people with TS in all settings, and promote a strong level of personal support and interaction among families and the community at large. The TSA of Connecticut is seeking volunteers to help out during the restructuring of the Connecticut Chapter. The CT chapter lends an ear to anyone who needs to talk and share experiences.
Trumbull Parents of Students with Learning Differences
A town-wide parent support group that offers resources and information for children with or without special needs. TPLSD works closely with Trumbull Public School’s department of Pupil Services.
We’re Special Too! (“Sibshops”)
20 York St., SP 7-414, New Haven
This program for siblings was created in 1995 by The Friends of Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital to assist the brothers and sisters of children with chronic or terminal illness or special health care needs.
West Haven Parent Support Group
West Haven City Hall
355 Main St., West Haven
Karen Muro: 203-645-4934
This group invites parents, grandparents, caregivers, and friends of children with special needs to attend a meeting on the second Monday of every month from 6:30-8:30pm.
Parent Support Groups in Westchester
Parent Support Groups in Rockland