Many support groups exist to help parents cope with the challenges they face in raising a child with disabilities. Sometimes sharing your story with another parent who is dealing with the same issues can help. Often, support groups are formed around a particular disability. National Association for Down Syndrome in the Chicago area is one example. The Autism Program of Illinois is another important disability specific resource for parents. However, parents of children without these particular diagnoses can still find support among the parents in many support groups.
There are sibling support groups for the brothers and sisters of people with disabilities and opportunities for children and youth who are siblings to meet, have fun, and talk about their shared experience. These events, called SibShops, help children who are siblings cope with the issues they face as a sibling of someone with a disability. Click here to view a list of Illinois Sibshops. A very active Illinois sibling group, Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters, is also available to support siblings.
Support groups are listed by County and under Statewide Resources on this website.