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Support Groups for Parents of Children with Special Needs in Rockland and New Jersey Counties

Support Groups for Parents of Children with Special Needs in Rockland and New Jersey Counties

These local groups offer support, inspiration, and resources for parents and families of children with special needs.

UPDATED APRIL 2019: Raising a child with a unique set of special needs can have you feeling isolated and unsure of how to connect with other parents going through the same thing—and unfortunately, support groups are hard to find if you don’t know where to look. To make this process easier, we curated a list of support groups across Rockland County, as well as Bergen, Passiac, Essex, and Middlesex counties in New Jersey that offer parents of kids with a wide variety of special needs a space to share experiences and resources—and help each other know no one is alone in this journey. Many of these organizations also connect parents to information and resources that can help their children live fulfilled lives.

 

Rockland County

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder

This group has a number of private online communities, including one for parents that aims to encourage open, useful exchange of information for and by people affected by ADHD.

 

National Alliance on Mental Illness, Rockland

Various locations throughout Rockland County

845-359-8787

Each NAMI regional affiliate works toward improving services and resources for individuals living with an emotional and behavioral challenge and their families through education, advocacy, support and promoting research. NAMI Rockland offers a variety of support groups for families whose relatives are living with mental health concerns such as autism, anxiety, ADHD, OCD, mood disorders, and oppositional disorders, among others. Groups are held for families and friends and for parents (in both English and Spanish). Go to namirockland.org for a complete list of support group meeting times and locations.

 

Parent Support Network

P.O. Box 284, Orangeburg 

845-548-5911

The group’s priority is supporting, educating, and advocating for each other while raising children and adolescents with learning, emotional, developmental, social, or behavioral disorders. Their focus is on educational advocacy to help parents access appropriate education for their children. They also bring in speakers for meetings and conferences.

 

Parents Helping Parents

Street Community Center, 31 Zukor Road, New City

845-230-8045 

Assists parents struggling with the behavior of their teen or adult children. Group meets Mondays from 7:15-9:15pm.

 

Rockland BIANYS Chapter

Helen Hayes Hospital

51-55 Route 9W N., West Haverstraw

Barry Dain: 914-420-4406

[email protected]

Provides friendship, information, a problem-solving forum, personal growth opportunities, and the chance to be reminded that families and caregivers of people with brain injuries are not alone on the second Monday of each month at 6:30pm.

 

Bergen County, NJ

ASPEN Father’s Support Group 

Cape Resource Center Conference Room

540 Farview Ave., Suite 1200, Paramus

Matt Root: [email protected]

Jim Hagarty: [email protected]

This group is specifically for fathers, grandfathers, and stepfathers of children with ASD. These men can come together to share their experiences living with and loving their kids. The group meets on the first Monday of each month from 7:30-10pm.

 

Autism Parent/Guardian Support Group 

Moving On Life Center

121 Cedar Lane, Suite 101, Teaneck

201-837-8590

This support group comes together to discuss learning how to advocate for your child, how to work with school districts to enhance educational and social development, and how to balance the needs of your child with special needs with the rest of the family. Right now, there is a waiting list for the group, and once enough people sign up meetings will be held on the first Monday of each month from 6-7:30pm and the third Wednesday of each month from 12-1:30pm. 

 

Bergen County Brain Injury Support Group 

Englewood Hospital, 350 Engle St., Englewood 

Jane and Joe Concato: 201-666-2015

This support group allows people with brain injuries and their families to meet other families in similar situations, gain emotional support and friendship, and obtain information and resources. Speakers also come in nearly every three months to discuss brain injury-related topics. Groups meet on the third Monday of every month, except December, from 6:30-8pm.

 

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CarePlus NJ Parent Guidance 

610 Valley Health Plaza, Paramus

CarePlus strives to enhance parenting skills through in-home support, mentorship, education, and empowerment. Guidance is geared toward parents whose kids are dealing with behavioral or emotional challenges.

 

CarePlus NJ Social Skills Group

17-07 Romaine St., Fair Lawn

Jennifer Loaiza: 201-797-2660 x5286

This parent support group runs concurrently to an eight-week support group for kids that aims to improve peer communication skills, problem-solving skills, frustration management, confidence, and cooperation—and help kids cope with rejection and/or bullying. In their own group, parents learn how to reinforce their child’s social skills.

 

Family Support Organization of Bergen County 

0-108 29th St., Fair Lawn

201-796-6209 x102

FSOBC provides family-to-family peer support groups for families enrolled in Bergen’s Promise (the county’s care management organization for kids with special needs). FSOBC also provides support, education, and advocacy to families and caregivers of kids with emotional, behavioral, developmental, intellectual, and/or substance use challenges. Parent and caregiver support groups meet the first Monday of each month from 10-11:30am and weekly on Wednesdays from 7-8:30pm. The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren support groups meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 12:45-2:15pm.

 

MOM2MOM Support Group 

17-03A Broadway, Route 4 W., Fair Lawn

877-914-6662 

The Mom2Mom helpline provides mental health and peer support to mothers of kids with special need and is staffed 24/7 by moms of children with special needs who have training in crisis support and peer counseling. The support group meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 7-8:30pm. Interested people must RSVP to attend.

 

Putting The Pieces Together 

363 4th St., 1st Floor, Lyndhurst

201-966-8738

This organization offers support groups, services, and a wide variety of activities for parents and caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorders. Speakers come to present for parents on weekday nights, and parent support groups are held during activities, such as dance competitions or soccer games, so parents can accomplish two things at once.

 

Passiac County, NJ

MOM2MOM Support Group 

17-03A Broadway, Route 4 West, Fair Lawn

877-914-6662 

The Mom2Mom helpline provides mental health and peer support to mothers of kids with special need and is staffed 24/7 by moms of children with special needs who have training in crisis support and peer counseling. The support group meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 7-8:30pm. Interested people must RSVP to attend.

 

Parents as Teachers 

176 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Paterson

973-942-3630; intake line x11

This program allows parents to teach their peers how to be better parents—and be teachers during their child’s early development stages. Regular in-home visits provide participating parents with support, child evaluations, child development tracking, goal planning, and connections to resources. 

 

Essex County, NJ

NJ Statewide Parent Advocacy Network 

35 Halsey St., Newark

973-642-8100

SPAN’s mission is to empower families with the right resources so their children with special needs (or children facing other challenges) can become fully participating members of their communities. The organization works to achieve this mission through providing resources and helping families navigate education and health systems, planning for life after graduation, and more.

 

Middlesex County, NJ

Planning for Adult Life 

985 Livingston Ave, North Brunswick

732-828-0972

This Arc of New Jersey program assists young adults with special needs between the ages of 16-21 with planning for adulthood. Information sessions, webinars, and resource guides focus on postsecondary education and employment, housing, legal and financial planning, self-direction, health, and more.

 

RELATED: Want more special needs news, tips, and resources? Read Special Parent!