Parent Support and Education

MOTHER'S SUPPORT GROUP

This is a support group for mothers of individuals who have an autism spectrum disorder. The format is an informal group discussion around topics of interest to those attending. Past topics have included: challenging behaviors, communication skills, potty training, family outings, taking care of yourself. Participants have time to share helpful information about community resources, events and activities. Attending all meetings is not required; you may attend as you are able. Childcare is not provided during the meetings. If you have younger children who will not be in school during this time period, please make arrangements for childcare. Meetings are monthly from 9:30-11:00 am at the TEACCH Center. Meetings are facilitated by a TEACCH therapist.


FATHER'S SUPPORT GROUP

The Fathers Group is an informal get-together of fathers who are interested in meeting others to discuss the experiences of being a dad with a child with autism. The group meets for dinner at a restaurant in Wilmington and the format is informal. There is no specific topic, but the group often discusses a wide range of issue from schooling to behavior problems.  The group meets every month and is facilitated by a licensed psychologist.  Notice about the meetings is sent by an email announcement. Interested fathers should contact Kay Sanderlin at kay_sanderlin@med.unc.edu



STRATEGY-BASED PROBLEM SOLVING GROUP FOR PARENTS OF SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN WITH HFA/AS

A series of monthly seminars addresses some of the common concerns typically experienced in parenting children with HFA/AS. The series is geared toward understanding and problem-solving for school-age children who are on the standard course of study. Recognizing that parents are experts regarding their own child, the meetings offer an opportunity to share and network with other parents and experience the wealth of information and solutions that each family brings to this type of forum. The format for each meeting includes a speaker who addresses each topic, followed by discussion and questions from parents. At least one of the meetings will provide an opportunity to hear from a guest speaker who has a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome.

The series of meetings, each lasting approximately two hours, covers each of the following topics:
• Self–esteem: To disclose or not disclose the diagnosis?
• Organizational Skills
• Communication and Conversational Skills
• Social Skills
• Sensory Processing/ Integration
• Planning for the Future

Parents are encouraged to attend the meetings in sequence as each meeting builds on information from the last; however, each meeting’s topic can stand alone. A take-home packet of information related to the meeting’s topic is included at each meeting.