Autism Support Groups in Chicago, IL

See all support groups in Chicago
Photo of Nahime Guadalupe Aguirre Mtanous, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Chicago, IL
Hybrid Autistic Adults Social Support Group
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, AM, LSW, ASDCS
Verified
Verified
"Astute Counseling is hosting an Autistic Adult Social Support Group in our Chicago Lakeview Wellness Center. For six weeks starting Jan 18th 2023, we will be working in a group to develop radical self-acceptance and disability empowerment through community. Please ..."
(872) 240-5805
View
Group meets in:
Chicago, IL 60657
Waitlist for new clients
Photo of Ginny Nikiforos LCSW, BCBA, ADHD Certified, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Chicago, IL
Guiding Behavior Counseling
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, BCBA, ADHD-CC
Verified
Verified
"Our group is ideal for adults experiencing emotional unsteadiness, distressing thoughts, low self-esteem/worth, and challenging behaviors. We have expertise in areas such as ADHD, Autism , anxiety, depression, OCD, trauma, relationship and communication concerns, and difficulty adjusting to transitions. We provides ..."
(773) 832-5782
View
Group meets in:
Chicago, IL 60618
Waitlist for new clients
Photo of Children\'s Advocate LLC in Chicago, IL
Children's Advocate Social Groups
BCBA, MA
"Children's Advocate Social skills groups are small groups (typically two to ten participants) led by an adult who teaches & counsels the kids how to interact appropriately with others. They can also be useful in teaching kids to control their ..."
(844) 986-2566
View
Group meets in:
Chicago, IL 60655
Waitlist for new clients
Photo of Ginny Nikiforos LCSW, BCBA, ADHD Certified, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Chicago, IL
Guiding Behavior Coaching
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, BCBA, ADHD-CC
Verified
Verified
"Guiding Behavior Coaching provides professional ADHD coaching anywhere within the US! Guiding Behavior Coaching has experience supporting the unique executive functioning challenges and strengths for those diagnosed with ADHD and/or high functioning Autism . Our style is supportive, direct, and very ..."
(773) 832-5782
View
Group meets in:
Chicago, IL 60618
Waitlist for new clients
Photo of Ami Goetz, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Chicago, IL
Navigating the School System
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LSW, CTP, PEL
Verified
Verified
"Led by Ami Goetz, Licensed Professional Educator (PEL) -- Ami will be leading a class for families navigating the complexities of special education. Ami holds a Professional Educators License (PEL) and has experience working in the public education system that ..."
(872) 529-3104
View
Group meets in:
Chicago, IL 60657
Waitlist for new clients
Photo of Jennifer Palmer, Psychologist in Chicago, IL
Support group for neurodivergent, LGBTQ+ teens
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified
Verified
"We are currently looking to start a group for LGBTQIA+ teens that are neurodiverse. Preferred ages for the group are 16-19. The group will be neurodiversity-affirmativ e, and focus on providing social connections and support. Please reach out with questions ..."
(708) 367-6973
View
Group meets in:
Chicago, IL 60646
Waitlist for new clients
Photo of Astute Counseling & Wellness Services , Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Chicago, IL
Autistic Adults Support Group
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MA(T), LCSW, CCATP, CCTP, CGCS
Verified
Verified
"ABOUT THE THERAPIST Nahime Aguirre, MA, LSW will be hosting a virtual social support group for autistic adults throughout Illinois. After her own diagnosis as an autistic adult, Nahime has learned and applied research-based mental health supports for other autistic ..."
(773) 906-4169
View
Group meets in:
Chicago, IL 60657
Waitlist for new clients
Photo of Jennifer Palmer, Psychologist in Chicago, IL
Neurodivergent teen group (boys)
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified
Verified
"We have recently started a small group for neurodivergent teens. Preferred ages for the group are 17-19. The group is neurodiversity-affirmativ e, and focuses on providing social connections and support. The group has rolling admission, and we are accepting new ..."
(708) 367-6973
View
Group meets in:
Chicago, IL 60646
Waitlist for new clients

More Groups Nearby

Photo of Nahime Guadalupe Aguirre Mtanous, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Chicago, IL
Hybrid Autistic Adults Social Support Group
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, AM, LSW, ASDCS
Verified
Verified
"Astute Counseling is hosting an Autistic Adult Social Support Group in our Chicago Lakeview Wellness Center. For six weeks starting Jan 18th 2023, we will be working in a group to develop radical self-acceptance and disability empowerment through community. Please ..."
(872) 240-5805
View
Group meets in:
Chicago, IL 60657
Waitlist for new clients
Photo of Ginny Nikiforos LCSW, BCBA, ADHD Certified, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Chicago, IL
Guiding Behavior Counseling
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, BCBA, ADHD-CC
Verified
Verified
"Our group is ideal for adults experiencing emotional unsteadiness, distressing thoughts, low self-esteem/worth, and challenging behaviors. We have expertise in areas such as ADHD, Autism , anxiety, depression, OCD, trauma, relationship and communication concerns, and difficulty adjusting to transitions. We provides ..."
(773) 832-5782
View
Group meets in:
Chicago, IL 60618
Waitlist for new clients
Photo of Children\'s Advocate LLC in Chicago, IL
Children's Advocate Social Groups
BCBA, MA
"Children's Advocate Social skills groups are small groups (typically two to ten participants) led by an adult who teaches & counsels the kids how to interact appropriately with others. They can also be useful in teaching kids to control their ..."
(844) 986-2566
View
Group meets in:
Chicago, IL 60655
Waitlist for new clients
Photo of Ginny Nikiforos LCSW, BCBA, ADHD Certified, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Chicago, IL
Guiding Behavior Coaching
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, BCBA, ADHD-CC
Verified
Verified
"Guiding Behavior Coaching provides professional ADHD coaching anywhere within the US! Guiding Behavior Coaching has experience supporting the unique executive functioning challenges and strengths for those diagnosed with ADHD and/or high functioning Autism . Our style is supportive, direct, and very ..."
(773) 832-5782
View
Group meets in:
Chicago, IL 60618
Waitlist for new clients
Photo of Ami Goetz, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Chicago, IL
Navigating the School System
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LSW, CTP, PEL
Verified
Verified
"Led by Ami Goetz, Licensed Professional Educator (PEL) -- Ami will be leading a class for families navigating the complexities of special education. Ami holds a Professional Educators License (PEL) and has experience working in the public education system that ..."
(872) 529-3104
View
Group meets in:
Chicago, IL 60657
Waitlist for new clients
Photo of Jennifer Palmer, Psychologist in Chicago, IL
Support group for neurodivergent, LGBTQ+ teens
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified
Verified
"We are currently looking to start a group for LGBTQIA+ teens that are neurodiverse. Preferred ages for the group are 16-19. The group will be neurodiversity-affirmativ e, and focus on providing social connections and support. Please reach out with questions ..."
(708) 367-6973
View
Group meets in:
Chicago, IL 60646
Waitlist for new clients
Photo of Astute Counseling & Wellness Services , Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Chicago, IL
Autistic Adults Support Group
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MA(T), LCSW, CCATP, CCTP, CGCS
Verified
Verified
"ABOUT THE THERAPIST Nahime Aguirre, MA, LSW will be hosting a virtual social support group for autistic adults throughout Illinois. After her own diagnosis as an autistic adult, Nahime has learned and applied research-based mental health supports for other autistic ..."
(773) 906-4169
View
Group meets in:
Chicago, IL 60657
Waitlist for new clients
Photo of Jennifer Palmer, Psychologist in Chicago, IL
Neurodivergent teen group (boys)
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified
Verified
"We have recently started a small group for neurodivergent teens. Preferred ages for the group are 17-19. The group is neurodiversity-affirmativ e, and focuses on providing social connections and support. The group has rolling admission, and we are accepting new ..."
(708) 367-6973
View
Group meets in:
Chicago, IL 60646
Waitlist for new clients

Autism Support Groups

What is the most effective treatment for autism?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has come to be considered the standard treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder, and research has confirmed its effectiveness for many children. Therapists trained in ABA techniques work with children (and their parents) on developing social skills, communication and learning abilities, and everyday habits of hygiene and grooming. The clinician will tailor their program to the child’s particular need but the overarching goal will be to help them advance as far as possible toward independence based on their level of symptoms and decrease the need for additional special services. Families should seek a mental health professional specifically trained in ABA, and holding special certification in the technique, who has extensive experience not only with the approach but in using it with children with the same level of symptoms as the child who needs care.

How does ABA work?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) sessions, which typically focus on positive reinforcement, can be intensive, lasting two or more hours several times a week, and continuing for two years or more. Therapists can also be expected to ask parents to take an active role in reinforcing lessons. Research has found that the technique can lead to major improvements that decrease the need for additional special services.

How does treatment for autism work?

Therapy sessions based on Applied Behavior Analysis will likely be frequent, intensive, and highly structured. After a thorough assessment, a therapist will help a child understand and develop skills in a range of areas, including communication, motor skills, social skills, self-care, play, and academic skills, as well as routines of daily living like hygiene. Typically, the therapist will help a child break down the components of a behavior—often referred to as the antecedent (what prompts an action), the behavior, and the consequence(what immediately follows)—and then reward the child at every step, while also asking parents to reinforce the lessons, and the rewards, throughout the day. This core therapy may be supplemented by occupational or speech therapy, and antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants may be prescribed to address specific severe symptoms.

How long does therapy for autism take?

Some people with autism spectrum disorder may be engaged in some level of therapy for many years, but research shows that treatment will be most effective if it is begun early and delivered intensively. When therapy begins by age 3, children tend to be better able to grasp and adopt the skills needed to manage everyday life, including attending school and establishing social relationships. This type of early-intervention treatment regimen is highly structured, typically involving 20 to 40 hours of one-on-one therapy per week, along with additional hours of engagement managed by parents, for a period of two years of more, although the duration of treatment is dependent on the child’s level of symptoms and pace of progress.




What is the difference between Group Therapy and a Support Group?
Chicago Support Groups and Group Therapy both offer a safe place to explore important issues. It is important, however, to understand the difference between the two.

Group therapy in Chicago is led by a therapist, group psychotherapist, or group counselor, and is generally structured around an issue. The therapist guides the group through a program as the group works together to better understand thoughts and feelings. Experienced therapists lead psychotherapy groups for various ages, such as adults, and specific issues including anger management, anxiety, and coping skills.

Support groups in Chicago are usually facilitated by a therapist or counselor, but can also be led by members with lived experiences. Generally, a support group is less structured than a therapy group. Support groups bring together members to provide support and strength to each other, often around a common challenge such as addiction or grief.

Most therapy groups will meet for a fixed length of time with a consistent group of members, while many support groups meet for an indefinite period of time with members coming and going.