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How to connect with other neurodiverse families

Autism support groups: How to connect with other families

Updated: February 27, 2024 · 3 Minute Read

Christina Ardel

Reviewed by:

Christina Ardel, MA, BCBA, Clinical Care Coordinator at Stanford Medicine and ESPA

Highlights

  • If you want to meet in person, there are great non-profits like AUsome Sauce that bring together parents of young kids on the spectrum in Southern California.
  • Understood's Wunder app is free and made for parents of kids with thinking and learning differences (like ADHD).
  • Don't underestimate Facebook groups. Depending on where you live, type in “autism parents [your state or city]” to find supportive groups like AZ Autism Community in Mesa, Arizona.

Autism support groups can offer support on those tough days, and guidance on stuff like applying for a Medicaid waiver or bath time tips for your child. Some parents are looking to make friends and introduce their children to other children on the spectrum. Many parents say that other parents were the most important resources in their journey.

 

How to connect with other parents 

Know that the first parent you connect with may not be the perfect match and it might take a few to find the right fit. Some places to start:

 

  • Parent to Parent (P2P) USA: Offers a one-to-one “match” with another parent in your community who has a child with a disability.
  • Social Network Communities: There are many extremely active parent communities on Facebook and Reddit. For example, Rob Goroski, the Autism Dad, runs an active special needs parenting community. The subreddit Autism Parenting is a great public forum to ask questions and learn about parenting autistic children. Quora also has online communities like Autism in the family! to support your specific needs. You can also find niche groups for single parents or non-parent caregivers when searching in social media platforms.
  • Local Parent Groups: Check out local parent groups in your area, and ask other local parents and professionals for recommendations. Online groups, like those on Facebook or Circle, can be helpful for meeting others online and offline. Try searching Google or Facebook for “special needs parenting” or groups for your child’s specific disability, along with your location. For example, type in “autism parents Arizona” to find groups like AZ Autism Community in Mesa, Arizona. If you want to meet in person, there are great non-profits like AUsome Sauce that bring together parents of young kids on the spectrum in Southern California. Follow Ausome Sauce's Instagram for live updates if you're in the Brea, Los Angeles, or OC area. If you're looking for other in-person resources, check out your local non-profits for fun, in-person events and mixers. Finding the right community for your family might take some time, but it's worth it!
  • Understood: We're huge fans of Understood's resources, but did you know they also have a community app? Their app is called Wunder and it is made for parents of kids with thinking and learning differences (like ADHD). It’s free in your app store!

 

If you need more support and resources, set up a personalized step-by-step guide for free. The Beaming Health Action Plans were created with the help of over 100 parents, clinical professionals, special education advocates, and social workers to help families like yours.