Here’s what others are saying:

‘Be open and honest. No matter how bad you think things might be, somebody can relate. That's why we're all there. Because we need people who understand. And if you think your kiddo does some weird things... you'll soon find out that there's no such thing as weird in an ASD family!’

‘I love sharing our latest & greatest at support meetings. It’s a time to celebrate with those who truly understand how wonderful something small and simple might be!’

‘Create a contact-network of other families who are in the same situation. Ask questions of them – they are the true experts!’ -Deanna, Eagle River

‘Having a child with ASD doesn’t have to be overwhelming or upsetting. Embrace your child’s abilities and help them to develop into the amazing person they are. And don’t forget to laugh!’ -Suzy, Waukesha

‘Get involved with school staff, research, visit & participate in lessons and groups at school.’ -Jenna, Eau Claire

SUPPORT GROUPS

Families with children on the autism spectrum sometimes find themselves having different priorities that their friends might not be able to relate to. For some, the circle of friends changes. Support groups are a great way to get plugged in to others who have faced comparable challenges, felt similarly, and may have experience about local resources or service providers to share.

Support groups are all very different. Some are organized by local organizations, or a parent. Others may be organized by service providers. Some are set up for round-table conversation and sharing. Others may be presentation-focused. If you attend one support group and find that it doesn’t quite fit you, look for another.

Be somewhat cautious when first attending informational sessions. Sometimes, what is presented to families as a support group can actually turn into an infomercial for a particular autism-related services provider. Remember that if a service provider claims to have a cure, be very guarded. While service providers are a very important piece in accomplishing treatment, it is still a business and should be regarded thoughtfully.

Here are a few hints to getting the most out of a support group:

  •   If childcare isn’t offered, leave your child with someone trustworthy.
  •   Dress comfortably.
  •   Seek the advice of others, and contribute where you can.
  •   Bring a small notebook to jot down ideas.
  •   Remember that it’s a judgement-free zone. Share openly.

Here are some support groups around Wisconsin. To add yours, please contact us.

We recommend contacting the organization / organizer to confirm before attending, as these are subject to change.

Madison Area

Autism Support Group
Hosted by: Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin
Meets: 3rd Tuesday of every other month (January, March, May, July, September, November)
Time: 7-9 p.m.
At: Midvale Community Lutheran Church, 4329 Tokay Blvd, Madison.
Contact: autismmadison@gmail.com

AUsome Adult Group
Hosted by: Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin
Meets: 3rd Sunday every other month (Jan., March, May, July, Sept., & Nov.)
Time: 2pm – 4pm
At: Prairie Unitarian Universalist Auditorium, 2010 Whenona Drive
Contact:  ausome-adults@googlegroups.com  

Support Group
Hosted by: Wisconsin Integrative Hyperbaric Center
Meets: 2nd Tuesday of the month
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm.
At: Wisconsin Integrative Hyperbaric Center, 6200 Nesbitt Road, Fitchburg, WI 53719-1949
Contact: (608) 278-4268


Milwaukee Area

Autism Support Group
Hosted by: A.N.G.E.L., Inc.
Meets: Last Tuesday of the month
Time: 6:30-8:00pm
At: ARCH Medical Center - 9612 S Franklin Drive - Franklin WI  53132
Contact: Beth Williams (414) 731-9579

Autism Support Group
Hosted by: Asperger’s Support
Meets: 3rd Monday of the month
Time: 6:30pm
At: Immanuel Baptist Church, 4250 N. 137th Street, Brookfield, WI 53005
Contact: ourtreasures@support4as.com

Morning Coffee Parents Support Group
Hosted by: Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin
Meets: 1st Thursday of the month (while school is in session)
Time: 9:30 am – 11:30 am
At: ASSEW Offices: 3720 N 124th St., Suite O, Wauwatosa, WI 53222
Contact: (414) 988-1260

Adults on the Spectrum
Hosted by: Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin
Meets: 3rd Wednesday of the month
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
At: ASSEW Offices: 3720 N 124th St., Suite O, Wauwatosa, WI 53222
Contact: (414) 988-1260

Parents Support Group
Hosted by: Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin
Meets: 3rd Tuesday of the month (during the academic year)
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
At: ASSEW Offices: 3720 N 124th St., Suite O, Wauwatosa, WI 53222
Contact: (414) 988-1260

Northern Wisconsin

Autism Support Group
Hosted by: Autism Society of Central Wisconsin
Meets: 1st Thursday every month
Time: 6:30 pm
At: St. Mark’s Church, 500 Stevens St, Wausau
Contact: autismsocietycw@gmail.com


Central Wisconsin

Taylor County Autism Support Group
Meets: 3rd Monday of Each Month
Time: 6 - 7pm
At: Medford Area Public School District Office Building
Contact: 715-748-2316 x324 or gregejo@medford.k12.wi.us


Fox Valley Area

Hosted by: Bridge the Gap, Inc.
Meets: 2nd Thursday of the month
Time: 6:15 PM – 7:30 PM
At: Bonduel Elementary School Library, 400 W. Mill Street, Bonduel, WI  54107
Contact: nicole@bridgethegapwi.org


Hosted by: Autism Society of the Fox Valley
Meets: 2nd Sunday of the month
Time: 6-7:30 pm
At: Harmony Cafe', 233 E. College Avenue Appleton
Contact: Kristin Wahl at kdwahl99@sbcglobal.net



Online / Facebook groups

When you have limited time or little ability to travel, online communities can be a great source of support. Opinions and themes in these groups / social-media pages vary.

Here are a few that we’re aware of:

On Facebook
‘Edgerton Autism Group’: Anyone may join & share ideas.
‘Autism Daddy’ Page: a Dad’s perspective. Also writes an active blog.
‘Autism Mothers’page: From the UK. Part of ‘Autism File’ magazine.
‘Parenting Aspergers Children’ page: Support & educational information.
‘Sisterhood of the Autism Mothers’ group: Anyone may join & share ideas.

On iVillage
Autism, Asperger’s and PDD-NOS
Living with Autism



Other support organizations

Parent to Parent of Wisconsin
Parent to Parent of Wisconsin provides support to parents of children with special needs through a one-to-one connection with another parent volunteer who has similar experience and who knows firsthand about the feelings and realities that come with having a child with special needs.