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Support Groups for Parents of Children with Special Needs in New York

Support Groups for Parents of Children with Special Needs in New York

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


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  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.

 

Special Needs Support Groups in Manhattan

Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association 
303 Fifth Ave., Suite 1003, 10th Floor, Flatiron District 
info@ahany.org
888-918-9198

The Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association offers several no-fee support meetings throughout New York City for parents, family members, and caregivers that focus on educating, advocating, and creating activities for families to help them cope with their child’s diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome and related conditions.  

Bernice Bernhard, Ph.D.  
44 W. 62nd St., Upper West Side
212-245-2994

Offers counseling and support for parents with children of special needs in all categories.

Center For Hearing & Communication 
50 Broadway, 6th Floor, Financial District
info@chchearing.org
917-305-7700 • 917-305-7999 TTY

The Center for Hearing and Communication, a nonprofit organization, offers weekly therapeutic support groups for parents of children with hearing loss, from coping with the news to connecting with parents who are dealing with a similar situation.

The Child Mind Institute 
101 E. 56th St., Midtown
212-308-3118

The Child Mind Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to transforming mental health care for children and empowering their families with help, hope, and answers, holds a wide variety of workshops for parents and educators to gain invaluable skills and learn how to help children take control of their condition and thrive. Find workshop schedules on the website.
An ADHD Guide, as well as workshops, helps parents understand the ins and outs of the disorder. 
An OCD Guide for Parents covers a range of issues affecting children with obsessive-compulsive disorder and their support networks, from navigating friendships and family gatherings to the ins and outs of treatment and medication. 
The organization also holds seminars and publishes guides on selective mutism. 

Churchill School and Center
301 E. 29th St., Kips Bay
lclark@churchillschool.com  
212-722-0610

The Parent Educational Network at Churchill School hosts a series of programs and workshops during the school year that focus on helping parents to better support their children’s needs.

The Epilepsy Foundation of Metropolitan New York
65 Broadway, 5th Floor, Suite 505, Downtown Manhattan
info@efmny.org
212-677-8550

The foundation offers 1-on-1 psychotherapy and psychiatry for adults with epilepsy. Though there are no clinic services for children, it offers Medicaid Service Coordination for children and adults who are developmentally disabled/Office for People with Developmental Disabilities eligible. Parents are invited to contact the foundation for information on resources and referrals in the metropolitan area.

FACES, Finding A Cure For Epilepsy and Seizures 
223 E. 34th St., Murray Hill
Peggy Guinnessey: 212-263-2644 
peggy.guinnessey@nyumc.org

FACES, part of the NYU Langone Medical Center, provides a Parents Network that connects parents with parent mentors who have experienced similar obstacles raising a child with a chronic illness such as epilepsy. Valuable mentorship teaches parents about the hospitalization process, educational services, and offers social support.

GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center 
106 W. 117th St., Harlem
nyc@gigisplayhouse.org
646-801-7529

Support group for new and expectant parents of children with Down syndrome. Meet other parents, discuss experiences, make connections, receive support, and learn about resources helpful to the Down syndrome community. Experienced mentors who can answer your questions about Early Intervention and other services are also available. This is a group that frequently invites guest speakers to talk about best practices in caring for infants with Down syndrome. 

The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership 
369 Lexington Ave., 2nd Floor, Murray Hill
info@grasp.org
888-474-7277

Both online and regional support groups (adult and teen) are available through GRASP. There are separate support groups for women, LGBTQI individuals, people older than 50, and more depending on your region.

Harlem Independent Living Center 
289 Saint Nicholas Ave., Suite 21, Lower Level, Harlem 
info@hilc.org
212-222-7122 • 212-222-7198 TTY

In addition to offering peer counseling and support groups for people living with disabilities, the Harlem Independent Living Center, a nonprofit organization, works in the community to help these people live independently.

INCLUDEnyc Parent Support Group
116 E. 16th St., 5th Floor, Gramercy Park
212-677-4660

INCLUDEnyc offers a monthly support group for parents of children with any disability.

The Jewish Community Center in Manhattan 
334 Amsterdam Ave., Upper West Side 
646-505-4444

The JCC has support groups that cater to parents, grandparents, fathers, parents of twins, and parents of teens. Support groups are for parents of children who have been diagnosed with developmental challenges of all kinds. Facilitators and parents’ experiences provide those in the support group with resources, the chance to network, emotional support in a sense of community, and the opportunity to solve problems. Groups meet on select Mondays from 5-6:30pm.

Lighthouse Guild International 
250 W. 64th St., Upper West Side
800-284-4422
info@lighthouseguild.org

Lighthouse Guild’s Parent Support Network is a program that includes open, informational phone forums for parents to discuss their concerns about raising children who are visually impaired. Parents can also subscribe to the Parent Support Network mailing list. 

Manhattan Mothers & Others 
160 E. 65th St., Apt. 25D, Upper East Side
212-570-6860
manhattanmothers@aol.com

Advised Advocacy Network for children of all ages with any developmental disabilities. Family members who share similar experiences in raising a child with developmental disabilities—as well as friends of these children—provide support for one another in this safe community.

Mood Disorders Support Group New York
411 W. 114th St., 3rd Floor, Upper West Side 
Bernstein Pavilion of Beth Israel Medical Center,
9 Nathan D. Perlman Place, Gramercy

This is a support group for parents and loved ones of individuals of mood disorders. Group members can receive support and have their questions, concerns, and problems addressed. Groups are offered on the UWS on Wednesdays and in Gramercy on Fridays from 7:30-9:15pm.

National Alliance on Mental Illness: New York City 
Support Group Manager: Christina Bradley
505 Eighth Ave., Suite 1103, Midtown
helpline@naminyc.org
212-684-3365 x204
Helpline: 212-684-3264

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City offers a broad range of nearly 30 support groups that are categorized by age, type of relationship, or illness. All groups aim to provide support, education, and advocacy.

New York Council on Adoptable Children 
333 W. 39th St., Midtown
info@coac.org
212-475-0222

Parents of adopted children benefit from peer support as part of the Parent Support Group, which helps parents cope with the unique developmental and psychological issues they and their adopted children may face. Youth Support Group is also provided for young people to communicate and interact with their peers in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Parent-and-Youth Support Groups provide a safe forum to discuss conflicts that might have escalated at home, enhancing communication between parents and their adopted children, and allowing them to discuss sensitive issues effectively.

NYC Family Advocacy Information Resource 
Parents of Individuals with Autism Support Group
Lynn Decker, administrator
spectrumparentnyc-owner@yahoogroups.com

This Facebook group is for families affected by intellectual and development disabilities. The forum provides a safe space for parents to share their insights, stories, and resources. Those who are not parents or guardians can send resources or information to the address above to be distributed to the group.

Parent to Parent of New York State
25 Beaver St., Room 405, Financial District
800-405-8818
Ellen McHugh: emchugh@ptopnys.org

This is a place where families of individuals with special needs can meet to discuss information, share resources, and support each other.

Quality Services for the Autism Community
253 W. 35th St., 14th Floor, Midtown
718-7-AUTISM (728-8476) x2060

These support groups provide a forum for parents to discuss the successes, disappointments, and anxieties that come from raising children with disabilities.

YAI Parents with Special Needs 
212-273-6182
PWSN empowers parents of children with special needs, strengthens the parent-child connection, and enhances independence. The program works to accomplish goals parents identify for their families through many different activities, including a Support and Skills Group.

YAI Network
460 W. 34th St., 11th Floor, Chelsea
888-YAI-AUTISM (924-2884) • 212-273-6100

Family Support resources include strategies for managing everyday stress and changes in funding for people with developmental disabilities. YAI offers directories for family support resources for all five boroughs, including support groups for parents, siblings, and caregivers who have a relative with developmental disabilities.

Special Needs Support Groups in Queens

Extreme Kids & Crew
Ridgewood Space, at P.S. 71, 62-85 Forest Ave., Ridgewood
These monthly parent and caregiver support groups allow parents to discuss their experiences—or any topic—with other parents on similar journeys. Parents can drop their kids at Extreme Kids’ Open Play session and head to the support group a few doors down, knowing their children are safe. Visit the website to RSVP for a group.

Moms Who Have Children With Autism (MOCHA)
mochaautismnetwork.com
MOCHA’s goal is to raise awareness of autism and related developmental disabilities, advocate for parents and children, and form alliances between parents. MOCHA aims to increase the amount of information available about autism within communities of color. Groups currently meet on Wednesdays at 12:30pm in Astoria.

National Alliance on Mental Illness: Queens/Nassau 
516-326-0797
The National Alliance offers peer-to-peer support groups, an eight-week peer-to-peer support class, and two different family support groups for individuals with psychiatric diagnoses and their families. The general family support group allows individuals to connect with their families and other people in similar situations. However, the 10- to 12-week family-to-family class is offered solely for family members to connect with each other.

Queens Parent Resource Center
112-40 Francis Lewis Blvd., Queens Village
347-947-6840
james.magalee@qprc.net

The Parent Federation holds monthly workshops and meetings for families and parents of children with developmental disabilities to learn about the latest medical advances, provide support, and discuss government policies as they relate to developmental disabilities.

Special Needs Support Groups in Brooklyn

Center for Anxiety
3692 Bedford Ave., Suite P2, Midwood
646-837-5557

The Center for Anxiety offers support groups for individuals with OCD, as well as their families and friends, in Brooklyn on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Attendees can reserve a spot by contacting the office or emailing ysobin@centerforanxiety.org.

Helen Keller Services for the Blind: Brooklyn
180 Livingston St., Downtown Brooklyn
info@helenkeller.org
718-522-2122

Free workshops are hosted by the Parent & Early Education Resource Center at the Children’s Learning Center. The center also provides services for people of all ages who are blind or have vision impairments.

Institute for Community Living Family Resource Center
Terry Johnson, director
2581 Atlantic Ave., Cypress Hills
info@iclinc.net
718-290-8100 x21205 • 877-425-8133

This community-based program operated by parents of children with special needs is for parents whose children have emotional or behavioral issues. It provides services such as clinical consultation, parenting classes, workshops, peer-to-peer support groups, support groups for parents, and after-school programs for children. It also offers monthly family nights and anger management classes for children and parents. Services available in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Bushwick, Crown Heights, and Williamsburg. Parent support group services are offered in English and Spanish. 

Jewish Child Care Association 
Program director: Denise Stephenson
858 E. 29th St., Flatbush 
stephensond@jccany.org
718-859-4500

The association offers a variety of support groups for parents with various concerns, such as child mental health issues, adoption, family rights and entitlements, and education. Groups meet weekly in Flatbush and Coney Island. Child care is provided during parenting groups.

My Time Inc.
Creative director: Wayne Clarke
9603 Flatlands Ave., Canarsie
info@mytimeinc.org
917-933-9875

Parent support group sessions focus on a range of topics relating to children’s developmental disabilities, including sharing development and playtime ideas for children. Guest speakers also provide different perspectives and insights. There are specific groups for fathers and grandparents. All groups provide positive coping behaviors, ongoing support, and are places to share ideas and find emotional support.

Twice Exceptional Children’s Advocacy
TECA offers online support groups throughout the year, facilitated by professionals with experience in each support group topic.

Special Needs Support Groups in the Bronx

Bronx Parents Autism Support Circle
14 W. 170th St., Mount Eden
646-450-2567
bpasccontact@gmail.com 

This organization provides a safe space for moms and dads to find resources and support in raising children with autism. Support groups meet on the second Tuesday of each month, September-June, from 7-9pm. Parents can bring their kids if necessary. Once parents attend an event or group, they will be invited to a private BPASC Facebook group where they can receive ongoing support and guidance outside of meetings. 

Services for the Developmentally Challenged 
The Church of the Mediator, 260 W. 231st St., Kingsbridge
Crusita Ramos: 718-432-8469

This group, which meets on the last Thursday of each month, is for parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and self-advocates ages 20 and older with intellectual or developmental disabilities. “We Are Family” offers education and training to help parents provide better for their kids and themselves, guests speakers, and a place for families and individuals to discuss the issues they are facing right now.

Special Needs Support Groups on Staten Island

Families on the Move of New York City Inc.
358 St. Marks Place
info@fotmnyc.org
347-682-4870

This chapter of Families Together in New York State is a nonprofit dedicated to assisting families and caregivers of children who are experiencing or who are at risk for emotional, behavioral, or mental health disabilities.

The Grace Foundation of New York
460 Brielle Ave.
graceofny@aol.com
718-983-3800

This nonprofit works to improve the lives of children and families affected by autism spectrum disorder. Support groups, which meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month, are geared toward parents and caregivers who learn from each other through sharing experiences and information. Support is also offered over the phone for parents and caregivers that cannot make group times.

Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, Staten Island Family Resource Center
1765 South Ave.
admin@jbfcs.org
718-698-5307

This nonprofit has more than 175 social service and mental health programs in New York, including child and adolescent services, early childhood and learning programs, and services for people living with developmental disabilities.

Parent to Parent Support Groups, Staten Island Special Education Parent Center
Institute for Basic Research, 1050 Forest Hill Road
Fathers’ Support Group: Page Plaza Diner, 75 Page Ave., Tottenville
718-494-4872

The center offers support groups at various times for individuals with Asperger’s syndrome, as well as mothers, fathers, and siblings in order to find informational, emotional, and social support and resources. People interested in attending the sibling support group must RSVP.

Special Needs Support Groups in Westchester

All About Kids 
1 Radisson Plaza, Suite 801, New Rochelle
914-251-0905

Bilingual evaluation, educational, and therapeutic services including assisting parents, family, and caregivers in understanding the special needs of their child by providing information about child development and working with a child with a disability.

Family Ties of Westchester Inc.
112 E. Post Road, 3rd Floor, White Plains
914-995-5238 

A grassroots organization that provides advocacy and support services to families of children with social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties, including support groups for parents, grandparents, girls, and boys. Some are conducted in Spanish. Locations include:

Mount Vernon Family Resource Center 
105 Stevens Ave., Suite 402, Mount Vernon
914-667-9369
mountvernon@famtieswest.org

Ossining Family Resource Center 
175 Main St., 2nd Floor, Ossining
914-941-3461
ossining@famtieswest.org

Peekskill Family Resource Center
3 N. Division St., 2nd Floor, Peekskill 
914-739-4725
peekskill@famtieswest.org

Yonkers Family Resource Center 
30 S. Broadway, 7th Floor, Yonkers
914-964-2063
yonkers@famtieswest.org

JCC Mid-Westchester 
Enid Ancell Family Center 
999 Wilmot Road, Scarsdale 
914-472-3300 x306

A JCC resource team member assists parents of children with special needs by providing referrals to mental health specialists, counseling, parenting skills training, legal advice, or divorce mediation.

Parents Place - The Guidance Center of Westchester 
The Creative Learning Center
17 Anderson St, New Rochelle
914-613-0700 x7301
Lydia Castro: 914-613-0700 x7345

The Guidance Center offers mental health services to help people with their emotional, social, and psychological well-being, including individual, family, and group counseling, therapists for children and teenagers, and referrals to mental health and school-based clinics. Parent Support Groups meet twice a month on Fridays from 9:30-11am and Saturdays from 11:30am-1pm. Groups offer support, encouragement, resource sharing, and private counseling by appointment.

Hudson Valley Special Education Parent Center 
914-493-7665
HVSEPC at the Westchester Institute for Human Development provides resources and strategies for parents to have a greater role in their child’s special education programs. Programs include workshops on understanding special education and individualized education programs, transition and career planning, and talking to children about their learning differences. 

Making Headway Foundation
115 King St., Chappaqua
914-238-8384

Works individually with parents and children with brain and spinal cord tumors and helps children settle back into school after receiving treatments. 

Parents Helping Parents
Leo Mintzer Community Center 
251 Underhill Ave., West Harrison
845-230-8045 

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

Special Moms Network
855-487-2384
This private Facebook group aims to educate, support, and empower moms of children with special needs and their families.

Westchester Arc, Parent Assistance Committee on Down Syndrome
40 Saw Mill River Road, Hawthorne
Kathy Higgins, coordinator: 914-347-3227 
khiggins@arcwestchester.org
Barbara Nuccio: barbnuch@verizon.net

A group of Westchester parents of young children (babies, toddlers, and preschoolers) with Down syndrome who know how important it is to be linked to other parents, resources, and support groups. Contact Kathy or Barbara to sign up. Groups meet one Thursday each month from 10-11:30am.



Westchester Arc, Children’s School for
Early Development

40 Saw Mill River Road, Hawthorne
914-347-3227 x106

Provides educational, social, and support services for children ages newborn through 5 years and their families.

Westchester Foundation for Autism 
P.O. Box 596, Scarsdale
wfa@wfautism.org
866-529-8090

An organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for families of children with autism and related developmental delays through social events, education, recreational programs, and family support.

Westchester Group Works
600 Mamaroneck Ave., Suite 400, Harrison
914-301-9474

Westchester Group Works offers a variety of support groups for parents who have children with a disability or chronic illness. Groups change depending on parental needs, feelings, and concerns.

Westchester Jewish Community Services, Autism Services and The Autism Center 
845 N. Broadway, White Plains
Leigh Englander, program coordinator 
lenglander@wjcs.com
914-761-0600 x228

Offers a full range of services that assist children and adults on the autism spectrum and the challenges their families face. Support includes therapeutic services, special needs advocacy, and parent training. Project lifesaver program for children at risk of wandering. WJCS offers a grandparents’ support group, social skills groups for pre-K through high school students, and other social groups for young adults on the spectrum. WJCS also provides referrals for all autism services in Westchester and the surrounding areas.

WJCS’ Family Advocacy
914-949-7699 x593 
A social skills-based group for adolescents on the autism spectrum and their families. Weekly meetings take place in a club-like format for the teenagers and participants to engage in activities that enhance social, recreational, and independent living skills.

Special Needs Support Groups in 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
bdain33@msn.com

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.

Special Needs Support Groups in Bergen County, NJ

ASPEN Father’s Support Group
Cape Resource Center Conference Room
540 Farview Ave., Suite 1200, Paramus
Matt Root: msresq@verizon.net
Jim Hagarty: big2h@aol.com

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.

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.

Special Needs Support Groups in Passaic 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.

Special Needs Support Groups in 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.

 

Special Needs Support Groups in 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.

Special Needs Support Groups on Long Island

Nassau County

ADHD Parent and Teen Coaching, Education, and Support
Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., ACAC
cindy@ptscoaching.com
516-802-0593

Cindy Goldrich is a certified ADHD coach specializing in parenting children and teens with ADHD and executive function delays. Goldrich conducts a seven-session parent coaching workshop series in which specific strategies are developed to establish realistic rules and expectations, reduce homework stress, and improve compliance, self-advocacy, and communication skills. She also offers coaching for high school and college students, consults with teachers on behalf of students, and can help parents develop IEPs and 504 Plans for their children.

Asperger Syndrome & High Functioning Autism Association
Mid-Island Y JCC, 45 Manetto Hill Road, Room 202, Plainview
888-918-9198

These support groups are for family members to meet and discuss the needs of their loved ones on the autism spectrum. There are separate groups for family members of individuals of all ages, tweens and teens, and older teens and adults.

CHADD, Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Local Chapter of Nassau County
The East Meadow Jewish Center
1400 Prospect Ave., East Meadow
nassau-county@chadd.net
Shirelle Pearson: 516-242-3263

This group offers monthly meetings; call for more information. Parent training is available online and information for the trainings can be found from the CHADD national website: chadd.org.

Julie Cohen, LCSW
Great Neck
magicseeds@mac.com
516-504-1881

This group specializes in helping couples navigate the ups and downs of parenting children with special needs while strengthening their care and connection with one another. Cohen offers periodic workshops in which parents come together to discuss their children with special needs and the difficulties and issues that go along with parenting children with special needs.

EPIC Long Island
1500 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow
516-739-7733

Offers support groups for children and teens that have epilepsy, children who know someone with a seizure disorder, and parents of children who have epilepsy, as well as psychotherapy and medication management. The young adult support group is held on the first Wednesday of each month; professional support group is every second Wednesday of the month; and the parent support group is every fourth Tuesday of the month. All support groups are by appointment only.

Friendship Circle, Chabad of Great Neck
400 E. Shore Road, Great Neck
516-654-6000

friendshipcircle@chabadgn.com
This Jewish organization pairs children with special needs with caring, dedicated volunteers who form special relationships with them, and provides support to their families.

Friendship Circle, Chabad of Roslyn
75 Powerhouse Road, Roslyn Heights
210 Forest Drive, East Hills
516-484-3500

This group provides services and support for Jewish children and teens with special needs through the help of trained teen volunteers and professional therapists.

Friendship Connection Foundation
1500 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow
516-450-6103

This nonprofit serves the needs of adolescents and adults with learning and developmental disabilities, and their parents who are battling anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Meetings are held on Sundays at EPIC Long Island. Friendship Connection also hosts day trips and recreational activities for its members.

Gifted and Twice Exceptional and Families Network
Melissa Sornik, LCSW
268 Sea Cliff Ave., Sea Cliff
516-724-7100

Counseling and support for gifted/twice exceptional (2e) children and families.

Grandparent Advocates Supporting Autistic Kids
480 Old Westbury Road, Roslyn Heights
Dr. Sue Cohen: 516-484-2729 x402

This support and advocacy group is for concerned grandparents of children with autism, many of whom are also activists and lobbyists. All adult family members are welcome. Meetings are held at the guidance center’s Roslyn Heights location on the last Thursday of each month. Contact Dr. Cohen to confirm attendance.

Kindred Spirits: Parents of Children with Diabetes
The Community Church of East Williston
45 E. Williston Ave, East Williston
Lori Benzoni: 516-663-2112

Free monthly support group providing education, support, and camaraderie for parents of children with diabetes who are patients at Winthrop. Meetings are on Thursdays from 6:30-8pm.

Mental Health Association of Nassau County Family Resource Center
16 Main St., Hempstead
516-489-2322 • Help Line: 516-504-4357

Offers support groups that assist family members who have relatives with mental illnesses.

National Alliance on Mental Illness Queens/Nassau
1981 Marcus Avenue, C-117, Lake Success
516-326-0797

Provides education and support for groups for families of those with mental illnesses.

New Horizons Counseling Center
108-19 Rockaway Blvd., Ozone Park
718-845-2620

The center provides individual and family counseling in Queens, Brooklyn, and Nassau County. Parent support groups and referrals to social agencies and other professionals are available. New Horizons serves a multicultural population with professionals on staff that are fluent in Spanish.

New York Families for Autistic Children
164-14 Cross Bay Blvd., Howard Beach
347-566-3122

Call to learn about various services for families and fundraisers.

New York Self Determination Coalition
Provides resources for parents who are transitioning their children from school to self-directed lives.

North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center
480 Old Westbury Road, Roslyn Heights
516-626-1971

Children with developmental disabilities and their families can participate in parent and sibling support groups, along with children with various other mental health needs such as depression, anxiety, abuse, and ADHD. See the website for more details about the support services offered.

Parenting Resource Network
Friedberg JCC, 15 Neil Court, Oceanside
516-634-4341

Check the website for information about upcoming programs.

Parents of Hearing-Impaired Children Support Group
430 Lakeville Road, New Hyde Park

The group meets at 7pm on the first Wednesday of every month in the lower level conference room at Long Island Jewish Medical Center Speech and Hearing Center. Free and open to the public. There are no meetings in July and August.

Resources for Special Needs Kids
Wantagh

A free online resource for parents with discussions on therapies, success stories, tips, and more about children on the spectrum or with developmental delays.

 

Suffolk County

Ariella’s NY Friendship Circle
The Chai Center of Dix Hills
501 Vanderbilt Parkway, Dix Hills
info@nyfriendshipcircle.com
631-351-8672

The Friendship Circle extends a helping hand to families who have children with autism and other special needs. The Circle introduces teenage volunteers to the children through shared experiences, including Hip Hop, Teen Scene, Puppy Fun, Bowling Buddies, and more.

Asperger Syndrome & High Functioning Autism Association
775 Park Ave., 2nd Floor, Huntington (group for families of older teens and adults)
North Shore Youth Council, 272 N. Rocky Point Landing Road, Rocky Point (group for family members of individuals of all ages)
888-918-9198

These support groups provide a space for family members to discuss the needs of their loved ones on the autism spectrum.

Association for Mental Health and Wellness
939 Johnson Ave., Ronkonkoma (Wednesday group)
Brigette Kremens, Family Support Group facilitator
bkremens@mhaw.org; 631-471-7242 x1313
1380 Roanoke Ave., Riverhead (Tuesday group)
Kelli Regula, Family Support Group Facilitator
kregula@mhaw.org; 631-471-7242 x1212
helpline@mhaw.org

Provides weekly support groups and counseling services for friends and relatives of persons with mental illness.

Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders
Stony Brook University, Putnam Hall, South Campus, Stony Brook
631-632-8850

Offers individual, group, and family therapy, including parent and social skills training and crisis/intensive behavioral interventions for children who identify as a Person with a Developmental Disability through the NYS OPWDD, along with comprehensive evaluations.

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Local Chapter of Suffolk County
New Village Community Recreation Center,
20 Wireless Road, Centereach
suffolk-county@chadd.net
Marie Elena Gandini, coordinator: mgandini@verizon.net

This chapter offers support groups and lectures to provide support, education, and resources in the community.

DDI, Developmental Disabilities Institute
99 Hollywood Drive, Smithtown
631-366-2900

A nonprofit multi-site agency serving children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Provides educational, residential, day habilitation, vocational services, respite care, and Medicaid Service coordination. The DDI Parent and Advocacy Network is affiliated with DDI and is made up of families receiving services from DDI.

Eating Disorders Support Group
John T. Mather Memorial Hospital
75 N. Country Road, Port Jefferson
Sue Morin, RN: 631-473-3877 x7956

Monthly support group for people with eating disorders; family and friends welcome; registration is not required. Meets the first Monday of every month from 7-8:30pm.

St. Charles Hospital Support Groups
St. Charles Hospital – St. Camillus (BR1)
200 Belle Terre Road, Port Jefferson
631-474-6000

St. Charles offers support groups for a variety of issues, from Alcohol and Narcotics Anonymous to speech and communication, strokes, muscular dystrophy, brain injuries, and more.

Neurology Associates of Stony Brook
181 N. Belle Meade Road, East Setauket
631-444-2599

As Suffolk County’s only Child Neurology program based in an academic medical institution, the team works on the front lines of medicine to take care of children with neurological disorders. There are two specialty centers that provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment/long-term management of multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.

South Shore Neurologic Associates at Brookhaven Memorial Medical Center for Individuals and Families
Epilepsy Patient Support Group
100 Hospital Road, 2nd Floor, Conference Room,
Patchogue
Amanda Pflumm, coordinator: 631-758-1910 x2111
631-666-3939

Free monthly support groups designed for epilepsy patients ages 18 and older, as well as families, loved ones, and caretakers of all individuals with epilepsy and seizure disorders. This group meets on the fourth Monday of the month from 5:45-7:30pm.

Long Island Sibshops
Thompson Middle School, Syosset
631-805-2100
Ann Winter: bbmax825@aol.com

Sibshops are held monthly on Saturdays from 11:00am-1pm. Siblings of children with special needs will enjoy games, crafts, fun discussions, and meet other siblings of children with special needs.

Our Little Heroes
Stony Brook Children’s Hospital
Division of Pediatric Hemotology & Oncology,
HSC 11-029, Stony Brook
Nicole Gutman, newsletter editor: 631-444-7521

This support group for families of children with cancer provides a newsletter, quarterly support groups, and parties at least twice a year away from the hospital setting for children to see the medical staff in a non-hospital setting.

Parent to Parent of NYS Inc.
415A Oser Ave., Hauppauge
Valerie Colavecchio: vcolavecchio@ptopnys.org
Alissa Morris: amorris@ptopnys.org
631-434-6196

A place where families of individuals with special needs and the professionals who serve them can meet and share information. This organization provides 1-on-1 parent support, assistance in accessing services, educational advocacy, workshops, e-groups, and a comprehensive website of resources. A parent matching program pairs adults, based on their request, with a trained support parent who has a child with a similar disability or health care concern.

Suffolk Independent Living Organization
755 Waverly Ave., Holtsville
631-880-7929

This group assists parents with the many issues surrounding the education of children with disabilities, including advocacy and legal, communication, housing and shelter, information and referrals, transportation, and training.

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Author: Jacqui Neber is a graduate of The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. When she's not focused on taking her next steps in the world of journalism, you can find her petting someone else's dog. See More

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