Support Groups and Respite

Autism “Warm” Lines provide resources, information, and support concerning non-immediate topics. It may take a few days for someone to get back to you from these organizations. If you are in an immediate crisis or emergency, please dial 911.

 

Caregivers – In some cases, a parent or family member can also be the paid home health aid for that child. However, this is on a case-by-case basis and would need to be explored with the child’s health insurance and a home nursing agency. If a person with a disability is over the age of 18 and receives “waiver” funding it is possible for a family member to be paid as a caregiver.

Support Groups

Grand Central, Inc. Kinship Care Resource Center

FREE! Support for any relative caring for another’s child, legal assistance.

1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 200, Philadelphia PA 19107

Contact Information:
Chartan Nelson, Director
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Autism Research Institute

Offers on- line support and information for parents on how to speak with siblings about autism.

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Autism Society of America/Philadelphia Chapter – ASA Support Group

Promote lifelong access and opportunities for persons within the autism spectrum and their families, to be fully included, participating members of their communities through advocacy, public awareness, education and research related to autism.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ASAPhilly/?ref=br_rsv

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Autism Speaks – Autism Response Team

  • Available Monday – Friday (9am-5pm)
  • Live chat is also available between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET

Contact Information:
En Enspanol
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Autism Speaks Toolkit, A Sibling’s Guide to Autism

This is a guide for siblings with a brother or sister on the spectrum.

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Child and Family Art Therapy Center

Offer free monthly trainings and other supports for parents. They teach supportive strategies, communication skills and offer workshops on other highly requested topics.

Contact Information:
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Child Guidance Resource Centers (CGRC) Parent’s Group

A free monthly support group and other information and resources available for parents at 2901 Island Ave, Philadelphia, PA, 19153. Groups are being held virtually at this time. Additionally, many video resources are available on their Facebook page.

Contact Information:
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Community Behavioral Health (CBH) Weekly Parent Support Group

Offers a weekly parent support group. The virtual group is held on Fridays from 12:30-2:30pm via zoom.

Contact Information:

Elwyn Parent Partners

Parents who have children in the Childlink or Elwyn system (0-5 years old) who provide supports and resources.

Contact Information:
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Family Matters, A JAFCO Support Network

Family Matters offers specialized case management and support services to assist families in times of crisis in Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. They serve families who are facing the impact of trauma and challenges such as: mental health and substance abuse issues; divorce/custody issues; single parenthood; grandparents/relatives caring for children; raising children with special needs.

Contact Information:
Rebecca Salus, Program Director
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Grand Family Resource Center at SOWN(Supportive Older Women’s Network)

FREE! Provides educational counseling, information/referral, and supportive services to grandparents raising families. Group, one on one, and phone support available.

4100 Main St., Philadelphia PA 19127

Contact Information:
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Philly Autism

FREE! A support group for families of children, teens, or adults on the spectrum. Their mission is to offer support, guidance, and share resources with families.

Share information, referrals, safe place for parents to vent or get advice from another parent. Share information of events or updates regarding birth to 21 special education services. Currently only meeting online via Facebook.

Contact Information:
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Jaden’s Voice

Provides information, resources and community events. They are currently holding no events due to guidelines around COVID. Connect with them through the channels below.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JadensVoice/

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Kaleidoscope Family Solutions

Offers In-home and community services and supports to qualified individuals with intellectual disabilities and/or Autism.  Additionally, Kaleidoscope Family solutions offer free support groups for families open to the public. Bryn Mawr, but accessible via public transportation. Focus on young adults to adults with special needs.

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Kinney Center Sibshops at SJU

Sibling support groups – autism specific.  Fee*

5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131

Contact Information:
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Maurice Rush Foundation

“Au-Parents Need[.]” Virtual Parent Support Groups caters to Parents/Caregivers of individuals with ASD (regardless of residence). “A group where Autism parents can talk about what they need to.” The groups function under the auspices of The Maurice Rush Foundation and are held every Wednesday at 8pm CT/9pm ET. Groups are therapeutic in nature and welcome an array of topics to be discussed, as well as various professional speakers for meaningful conversations that yield learning to both the parent AND speaker. Parents can sign up via www.mrushfoundation.org or www.auparentsneed.com to gain access to group membership. Parents can also send a direct message via our Facebook/Instagram social media platforms at @mrushfoundation.  Maurice Rush Foundation Flyer

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Neurodiversity Consultants LLC Parent Support Group

Offers a free monthly parent support group in collaboration with ASCEND. Groups are currently being held virtually due to COVID. Free 30-minute consultation to learn more about resources in your area, common topic areas covered during consultation include: IEPs, Early Intervention Services, post-21 services, transition into adulthood.

6810 Emlen Street Philadelphia, PA 19119

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Parent to Parent

Parent to Parent is a program that connects parents of children or adults with disabilities to others who have similar experiences. Services available in several languages.

Contact Information:
Bilingual Coordinator: Georgina Perez Liz
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Pennsylvania Sibling Support Network

This group tends to focus on the needs of siblings who are adults managing the care of their family member who has a disability. They provide groups, advocacy and other services.

Contact Information:
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Philadelphia Autism Project Support Group Map

Find (or list) a group in your local neighborhood! Please contact support groups/organizations directly with specific questions and/or concerns.

Contact Information:
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Philadelphia Interagency Coordinating Council (PICC)

For families of children under age 5 with disabilities offering support, information, trainings, special events.

Sesame Street and Autism

Developed with input from parents, people who serve the autism community, and people with autism, See Amazing in All Children offers families ways to manage common challenges, to simplify everyday activities, and to grow connections and support from family, friends, and community.

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Sibshops at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Sibshops is held six Saturdays a year for siblings in first to eighth grades. It is a fun and rewarding program for brothers and sisters of children with special health or developmental needs to gain peer support and education through facilitator led discussions, activities, and games.

Email Addresses for Specific Support Groups:

Contact Information:
Email for sibling in first to fourth grade
Email for sibling in fifth to eighth grade
Email for peer support for teens in ninth to 12th grade
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Sibshops at the Melmark

Offers Sibshops for siblings ages 7-12 and 13-16. A small fee may be required, scholarships are available.

Contact Information:
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Special Kids Network

Available Monday through Friday (8:30am-4pm)

The Special Needs Network serves children and youth with physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional needs from birth through age 21.

Contact Information:
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Spectra Solutions

Although in Broomall, this special agency offers many free support groups and trainings for families and young adults regardless of where they live. Open to the public.

390 Reed Road, FL 1 Broomall, PA 19008-4008

Contact Information:
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Spectrum Parents Group

FREE! For caregivers in Holland PA.

Contact Information:

SPIN Caregiver Connection

Free and open to all. Group meets 10 times per year, usually monthly during the school year. Currently doing support groups virtually.

Please contact them for more information or check out their Facebook page @SPINAutismServices.

All SPIN services remain open and operational throughout COVID-19 through a combination of telehealth and in-person services with PPE and safety protocols.

10501 Drummond Rd Philadelphia, PA 19154

Contact Information:
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Turning Points for Children: Kinship Care Program (“Kids n Kin”)

Support and case management for relatives caring for children with special needs.

Contact Information:

Visual Impairments and Parenting Workshops

The Library for the Blind hosts workshops for both Caregivers/Parents of Children who are Blind/Visually Impaired as well as for Parents/Caregivers who are Blind/Visually impaired themselves.

1500 Spring Garden St #230, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Contact Information:
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Respite

Community Autism Network

Provides information, trainings, and activities. Many are free grassroots Philadelphia-based supports including respite.

Free community trainings about Autism for families and agencies.

Community and recreation activities: Free family events promoting inclusion and accommodations for individuals with ASD and their families.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CommunityAutismNetwork/

Contact Information:
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Aveanna Respite Care Services

Childcare for medically fragile children (ages 0-7) needing skilled nursing care Monday-Friday, 6:30am-6:30pm.  Transportation provided.

Multiple locations: including the Pediatric Day Health Care Center – 8101 Washington Lane Wyncote PA 19095

Contact Information:
Support Groups and Respite
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Crisis Nurseries and Respite Services

The Sally Watson Center: 5128 Wayne Avenue (Germantown)  (215) 844-6931

Offers FREE respite services for families Monday-Friday, 7am-5:45pm for ages 0-5. Families must call intake and have proof of child’s immunizations prior to beginning respite services.

Baring House:, 3401 Baring Street (West Philly)  (215) 386-0251

FREE 24-hour emergency respite care for children ages 0-5. Telephone intake process includes proof of your child’s immunizations prior to beginning respite services.

Contact Information:
The Sally Watson Center
Baring House
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Family Friends Program at Temple University

Free! Matching older adult volunteers who provide in–home companionship and respite to children with special needs. This is a part time program that provides breaks for families via respite trips.

1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue Ritter Hall 4th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19122

Contact Information:
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Home Health Aides and Nursing Services

In some cases where a child with autism has other medical issues or skilled nursing needs and the parent works, some families have been may obtain home health aide services from a home-nursing agency. Agencies listed below:

Bayada Nursing: 215-988-9006

Visiting Nurse Group: 215-829-8888

Aveanna Healthcare: 215-376-6576

Caregivers America: 866-586-4394

Lincoln HealthCare: 484-406-5000

Marscare: 215-763-3992

Kinney Center SJU – “Family Night Out”

“Family Night Out”, one Saturday/month, $50.00 for three hours. Runs at the same time on the SibShop. Fun activities in a safe and structured environment.

5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131

Contact Information:
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Nancy’s House

Offer support groups and 1-3-day, affordable retreats that meet the physical, emotional, and practical needs of family caregivers, see website for details. Support groups are offered once a week, virtually at this time.  Administrative Office in Wyncote, PA

Contact Information:
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Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health – Respite Services

Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health: Offers Saturday afternoon respite and Boys and Girls Club Spring and Winter Break programs. Also offers $300 mini-grant for a trusted friend or relative who can provide respite. In order to be eligible, the child must be receiving services from CBH, be between the ages of 6-15, and must have Medical Assistance.

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So Love Autistic Center for Childcare – Respite Services

An autism-specific licensed early learning center. They provide clinical interventions using the Early Start Denver Model in conjunction with ABA interventions to provide a naturalistic learning environment. Their services include home, community, and accepting commercial insurance, ELRC, and private pay to cover the cost of services.

433 Burmont Rd, Drexel Hill, PA 19026

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The Friendship Circle – “Friends at Home”

Weekly in-home respite by teen volunteers who are matched with Jewish families with children with special needs. Parent must remain at home during the volunteer’s time. FREE.

Contact Information:
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The Variety Club – Weekend Retreats

Ages 7 to 21 at the Variety Camp & Developmental Center. An interview is scheduled to determine if the resources at Variety meet your child’s needs. A non-refundable fee of $100.00 is due upon acceptance to the program.  Application and forms are available on the website or call 610-584-4366.

Contact Information:
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