• Support Groups and Online Communities

    Sometimes the best resource for parents and caregivers of children with special needs are others who are facing similar issues and challenges. Join Special Connections, our new online parent support community. Families often gain strength by networking with others and realizing they are not alone. 

    You will find additional resources in our Condition-specific section. 

    The Complex Care Center at Cincinnati Children's recommends resources where parents and caregivers can turn to find support.

    • Special Connections is the online family community at Cincinnati Children's. Parents and caregivers can share experiences, ask questions and find advice and suggestions for coping with the challenges of raising a child with special healthcare needs
    • Many of the organizations listed on the Condition-Specific Web Resources offer their own support groups
    • Cincinnati Children's sponsors a variety of support groups for children and families with special healthcare needs. 
    • Family Resource Center at Cincinnati Children's maintains a listing of local support groups for medical conditions by diagnosis, bereavement support groups, and others.
    • Pastoral Care Department at Cincinnati Children's has a listing of bereavement support groups in the Greater Cincinnati area.
    • About Special Kids (ASK) is an Indiana organization of parents and professionals that supports children with special needs and their families by providing information, peer support and education. 
    • Caregiver Assistance Network, sponsored by Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio, provides information, support groups and resources for caregivers of the elderly ill and disabled.
    • Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio offers parenting and life skills classes.
    • CarePages allows you to create and update a free, private and personalized web page to share health care news with friends and family, and receive messages of support. 
    • Compassionate Friends offers grief support after the death of a child:
    • Family-to-Family Health Information Centers assist families of children with special healthcare needs.
    • Family Voices of Ohio provides families with the tools to make informed decisions, advocates for improved public and private policies, builds partnerships among professionals and families, and serves as a healthcare resource.
    • Fernside Center for Grieving Children provides peer group support for grieving children, teens and their parents or guardians.

    • InSource is the Indiana Resource Center for Special Needs.
    • iVillage.com can connect you to a wide range of online parenting support groups.

    • Mothers of Special Children of Northern Kentucky meets monthly in Erlanger. Email them at moms@mscnky.com or call Pam Blackburn, 859-525-6783.

    • MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network helps parents who have a child with any disorder, medical condition, mental or emotional disorder or rare diagnosis make connections with other parents whose children have the same or similar condition.
    • My Family on Call, sponsored my the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, provides care and support for Jewish families from all over the world who find themselves temporarily in Cincinnati while a family member is undergoing treatment at Cincinnati Children's. 
    • Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities has an online family chat as well as a listserv to receive emails and updates.  You can also register to receive the Pipeline Newsletter.
    • The Self-Help Group Sourcebook Online provides detailed information on how to start online support groups, message boards, chat rooms and email discussion groups. They also have resources to help you find existing online support and discussion groups. 

    • Sibshops, sponsored by the Aaron W. Perlman Center, in partnership with the Family Resource Center and the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's, is an interactive workshop for the brothers and sisters of children with special health and developmental needs. Sibshops provides siblings, ages 8-12, with opportunities for peer information and discussion. For more information, contact the Aaron W. Perlman Center at 513-636-4601.
    • Apraxia of Speech Parent Group meets monthly at Cincinnati Children's Mason Campus. Email for more information.
    • Apraxia Support Group at St. Rita School for the Deaf meets monthly at St. Rita's, 1720 Glendale Milford Road. Meetings are usually the third Friday evening of the month and are open to all parents, regardless of where your child attends school. Email for more information or call Angie Frith at 513-771-7600.  
    • Association of Cancer Online Resources (ACOR) has email discussion groups to support families.
    • Autism Society of Greater Cincinnati provides support groups, education and resources:
      • Autism Support Group meets second Tuesday of each month at Kenwood Baptist Church, 8341 Kenwood Road. Call 513-561-2300 for more information.

      • Asperger's / High Functioning Autism Discussion Group
      • Adults with Asperger's / High Functioning Autism Networking Group
    • Bipolar Support Group provides support for patients and families through the Hand 2 Hand (NAMI) Support Group. The group is for parents of children, up to age 17, diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder or with symptoms of, or a diagnosis of a serious emotional or brain disorder. Contact the Family Resource Center at College Hill, 513-636-7808 or NAMI, 513-948-3094 for information.  

    • Cancer Family Care provides programs and services to support individuals and their families coping with cancer in the Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky area. 
    • Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) is a national nonprofit organization provides resources and encouragement to parents, educators and professionals dealing with children and / or adults with ADHD.

    • Cincy SPD - Parent Connections Support Group meets monthly at the Cincinnati Occupational Therapy Instituteand provides information and resources to parents and professionals working with children who have sensory processing disorder.
    • Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati offers information, resources and support to individuals with Down Syndrome and their families, including a Parent Network Program.

    • Families with ASD of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky provides information and support for families who have children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  
    • Fragile X Syndrome Parent Support Group meets every other month at Cincinnati Children's Mason Campus. Email Sara Bitter or call 513-697-7979 for more information. 

    • Genetic and Rare Conditions Site lists support group information by both condition and categories of conditions. There is also information about how to start a genetic support group and information for siblings and family members.
    • H.E.L.P. (Helping Everyone Live Positively) is a support group for young adults, ages 18 through 30, learning to cope with mental health issues. Meetings are held at St. Monica / St. George Church in Cincinnati. Email for information.

    • Klippel Trenaunay Support Group provides families, adults with K-T, and professionals with links to information and opportunities to learn from each other. Activities include bi-annual meetings of patients and their families, online discussion groups for families and teens, newsletter and medical literature related to K-T. Phone support among members is available.

    • Mental Health Association of Northern Kentucky and Southwest Ohio maintains a list of known area support groups for people who share similar mental, emotional or physical health care problems or life situations.
    • Mental Help Net has information and resources to promote mental health education and advocacy. They have current news, book and article reviews as well as links to self-help groups and online discussion forums.
    • Mitochondrial Disease Support Group of Cincinnati meets monthly at Cincinnati Children's. Their web site has updated information. 
    • National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) is a non-profit organization for individuals with severe mental illness. Local Cincinnati support group information available.  
    • OCD Parent Support Group meets monthly at St. Monica's Community Center. Call 513-271-7723 or 513-891-2879 for more information.
    • Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities has an online family chat listserv. You can also register to receive the Pipeline Newsletter.
    • Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome Support Group for Families provides information and organizes events for families in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. The group meets quarterly at Cincinnati Children's. Call 513-636-4723 for more information.
    • Starbright World connects teens and young adults ages 13-20 who are dealing with a serious illness or injury. Siblings ages 13-20 are also welcome .If you are under 18, your parent will have to give consent.

    • Turner Syndrome Society has local chapters in Ohio and Indiana.
    • United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cincinnati provides information and support.
    • 22Q-VCFS support group is assisted through Cincinnati Children's. Visit our 22Q-VCFS web pages or call 513-803-1884 for information.
    • Williams Syndrome Association has information and support.
  • Contact Us

    We want to hear from you. Email us with your feedback or suggestions for additional resources. Call our Family Resource Center at 513-636-7606 with your questions.