Groups -- Parenting

Children with Disabilities / Illnesses

Champaign

C-U Autism Network (1995 F,P/L)
This is a support group for anyone living with or working with someone on the autism spectrum. Anyone with autism is also welcome. Phone support, education, and networking opportunities for individuals living with or supporting those with autism spectrum disorders are provided. The group sponsors meetings, workshops, and family/caregiver events, offers opportunities to exchange information on resources, trainings, interventions, legislation, advocacy, and more via e-mail, website, and listserv. Check the website for information on meetings, family events, and workshops.
Call:
Email:
Local Website: cuautismnetwork.org
Write: C-U Autism Network, P.O. Box 107, Savoy, IL 61874

Down Syndrome Network (1989 A,L)
This group improves the quality of life of people with Down syndrome and their families through support, education, and public awareness. Meets monthly for activities and events throughout the year. Calendar can be accessed through the website.
Call: (217) 778-6702
Email: -
Local Website: champaigndsn.org
Write: P.O. Box 1143, Champaign, IL 61824 facebook.com/CCDSN-167260799953316/

Illinois Early Intervention (EI) Clearinghouse
This clearinghouse identifies and collects research-based early-intervention best-practice information to share with families. It provides a free lending library of parenting and special needs DVDs, books, and journals related to the development of young children with special needs, including autism, Down syndrome, and speech disorders. The staff can help families and service providers find resources. The website has links to other resources in the state and nation.
Call: Sarah Isaacs (217) 333-1386 or toll free (877) 275-3227
Email: -
Local Website: eiclearinghouse.org
Write: Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse, Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Children’s Research Center, Rm. 20, 51 Gerty Dr., Champaign, IL 61820

Linking Educators and Parents (LEAP) (2006 F,P)
LEAP is a program of The Reading Group and focuses on strategies to help children cope with dyslexia and find ways to overcome the stress that accompanies it. LEAP serves families, school personnel, and college instructors who deal with students with dyslexia, ADHD and other learning differences. Meets 4 times per year on the 4th Tues. of the month, 6:30-8:00 p.m. The LEAP library of books and DVDs is housed at The Reading Group, 3011A Village Office Place, Champaign.
Call: Marilyn Kay (217) 367-0398
Email:
Local Website: www.readinggroup.org
Write: Marilyn Kay, 101 W. Windsor, #3114, Urbana, IL 61802 facebook: linkingeducatorsandparents

Parents of Adults with Disabilities (2007 F,P/L)
This group brings together parents of adults with disabilities to share ideas and information to improve the quality of life of family members. The group is sponsored by Community Choices, Inc. Speak Out! is a group for teens and young adults with disabilities that meets at the same time. Meets 2nd Thurs., Sept.-May, 7:00-8:30 p.m., St. Matthew Church, 2200 Philo Rd., Urbana.
Call: Ryan Thompson at Community Choices (217) 621-1090
Email: -
Local Website: communitychoicesinc.org
Write: Community Choices, Inc., P.O. Box 17551, Urbana, IL 61803

Rural Champaign County Special Ed Cooperative (RCCSEC)
This group only provides phone support and a lending library for parents of children who are visually impaired.
Call: Pam Golden (217) 220-1336 (cell)
Email:
Local Website: rccsec.org
Write: Pam Golden, Rural Champaign County Special Ed Cooperative, 807 N. Mattis, Champaign, IL 61821

Speak Out! (2008 F,P/L)
This group is for teens and young adults with disabilities. The group helps youth to speak up for their rights, socialize, and have a good time. It meets at the same time as the Parents of Adults with Disabilities support group. The group is sponsored by Community Choices, Inc. Bring snacks and drinks to share. Meets 2nd Thurs., 7:00-8:30 p.m., Sept.-May, St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 2200 Philo Rd., Urbana.
Call: Ryan Thompson at Community Choices (217) 621-1090
Email: -
Local Website: communitychoicesinc.org
Write: Community Choices, Inc., P.O. Box 17551, Urbana, IL 61803

Macon

Autism/Asperger's Syndrome Support Group for Macon County (2006 F,P)
This group provides support for parents, grandparents, relatives, and professionals who live or work with children with autism and Asperger's syndrome. The group provides time to share, listen, and learn from one another about what can be done to help loved ones with autism succeed in life. Meets monthly at Garfield Montessori School. Call for meeting dates and times. An informal coffee group meets to get to know others and make friends who truly understand. Call Jan to be added to the group e-mail or phone list or for information on resources.
Call: Jan Kriisa (217) 855-9890
Email:
Write: Jan Kriisa, 2187 Hoyt Dr., Decatur, IL 62522

McLean

Central Illinois Down Syndrome Organization (1974 F,L)
This organization provides a support group for parents of children with Down syndrome and works to increase public awareness. Has annual Buddy Walk event, and CIDSO Open, a golfing tournament and gala. Facebook page: Central Illinois Down Syndrome Organization.
Call: Central Illinois Down Syndrome Organization (309) 452-3264
Email:
Local Website: cidso.org
Write: P.O. Box 595, Normal, IL 61761

Central Illinois Spina Bifida Support Group (2000 A,L)
This group provides support for children and adults with spina bifida and their parents and family members. The meeting format varies from speakers to informal networking. Meetings last about an hour. Meets 3rd Thurs., Sept.-May, 6:45 p.m., OSF, Conference Rm. B, lower level, 1701 E. College Ave., Bloomington.
Call: Lynn Grabher Bradtke or Illinois Spina Bifida Association (773) 444-0305
Email:
Local Website: i-sba.org
Write: 2211 N. Oak Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60707

Play and Learn (PAL) (2014 F,P)
This group is open to any parent who has one or more children with special needs. Meets 2nd Thursday, 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. and 4th Thursday, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. at SPICE of Marcfirst, 1606 Hunt Dr., Normal. Free childcare, light meal/snacks and referrals to other services provided.
Call: Earl Kloppman: (309) 808-9066
Email:
Local Website: childrenshomeandaid.org
Write: Children's Home + Aid, 403 S. State St., Bloomington, IL 61701

Peoria

TOUCH - The Organization for Understanding Congenital Hearts (1985 A,P/L)
This group empowers families, children, and adults who have congenital or acquired heart defects. The group makes a difference through emotional support, education, and public awareness. The group provides a 'heartline' phone support number, newsletter, and annual picnic.
Call: Gail Eaton (309) 655-2650 or (800) 443-9898 for information or Cathy Cunningham (217) 239-1440 for Champaign County phone support
Email:
Local Website: touchhearts.org
Write: Gail Eaton, The Children's Hospital of Illinois, 530 N.E. Glen Oak Ave., Peoria, IL 61603

Sangamon

Parent 2 Parent (1999 F,P)
This group is for parents of teenagers and young adults with disabilities that focuses on the transition process from school to adult life. These meetings provides an opportunity for parents to become familiar with the agencies and professionals who can ease the transition process. Newsletters and group literature are available. Meets 2nd Tues., 6:00-7:30 p.m., Lawrence Education Adult Center, 101 E. Laurel St., Springfield.
Call: Mary Wyman (217)525-3060
Email:
Local Website: scil.org
National Website: www.sps186.org/parentmentor/
Write: Carolyn Thorpe, Springfield Center for Independent Living, 330 South Grand Ave. West, Springfield, IL 62704

Parent Support Group for Parents Raising Children on the Autism Spectrum (2003 F,P)
This support group, sponsored by the Autism Society of Central Illinois, is for parents and caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorders. Group is co-facilitated by Dr. Karen Kirkendall, PhD, a developmental psychologist with a specialty in developmental disabilities, and Catherine Wells, LCPC, a licensed professional counselor specializing in children and families. Meets on the 1st Thurs. of the month, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Noll Medical Pavilion, 5220 S. 6th St. Rd., Rm. 1800, Springfield.
Call: Karen Kirkendall, PhD (217) 206-7246 or Catherine Wells, LCPC (217) 561-1159
Email:
Local Website: autismcil.org
Write: Autism Society of Central Illinois, 5220 S. 6th St. Rd., Ste. 1300, Springfield, IL 62703

Vermilion

Puzzled Minds Vermilion County (2011 F,P/L)
This support group is for both families and professionals. If you are a parent with a child, or a professional that works with children who have an autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, OCD, ODD, or a mood disorder, this group is for you. We bring families and professionals together to brainstorm ideas, share resources, advocate for children and offer support. Additional services offered include workshops, Sensory Santa and other family events. Meets 2nd Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Two Roads Crossing, 1101 E. Winter Ave., Danville.
Call: Lori Acree (217) 840-5627 (call or text)
Email:
Local Website: www.facebook.com/PuzzledMindsVermilionCounty