The Chapel Hill TEACCH Center Mothers’ group was started in 1986 and is for mothers of children and young adolescents with autism. The two main purposes of the group are support and information. The format is informal with each meeting focused on a specific topic (e.g., behavior problems, siblings). Although the group has a facilitator, the mothers are encouraged to take the lead in talking about whatever aspects of the topic are relevant to them. The group meets monthly at the Center from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM from September through June. Attendees must be a parent/guardian of a current TEACCH client. Contact the Chapel Hill TEACCH Center via email TEACCH_ChapelHill@med.unc.edu or call 919-966-5156 for more information about the schedule.
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 the Chapel Hill area and the format is informal. There is no specific topic, but the group often discusses a wide range of issues from schooling to behavior problems. There is no set schedule for meetings, but, on average, the group meets every 6 weeks or so. Notice about the meetings is sent by an email announcement. Interested fathers should contact the Chapel Hill TEACCH Center at TEACCH_ChapelHill@med.unc.edu or call 919-966-5156 for more information.
Parents of Adults with Autism
The Parents of Adults with autism group is a support and informational group for parents whose child is 18 years or over, although parents of younger children occasionally attend. The group is also open to adult siblings or other adult relatives who have an important role in the life of an adult with autism, including their care. Like the Mothers’ Group, this group has a specific topic for each meeting (e.g., planning for the future, developing independence skills). The group meets monthly, on the second Tuesday, September through June from 6:30-8:00 PM. Contact the Chapel Hill TEACCH Center via email at TEACCH_ChapelHill@med.unc.edu or call 919-966-5156 for more information about the schedule and location.
Adult Support Groups
These groups are intended for individuals with autism who are 21 years or older, have had previous individual counseling, and are able to be a part of a group. No previous experience in a group is required. The purpose of the groups is to provide information and emotional support to the members on both general and specific issues related to their coping with the challenges of autism. The format of the groups is both structured and informal and has included addressing specific topics (e.g. getting along with coworkers), discussing real-life issues, and having part of the one-hour session focus on an individual member’s immediate concerns. Participation in these groups offers adults support and the opportunity to establish positive relationships with other adults who share similar experiences. Both groups meet approximately twice a month. In order to protect confidentiality and facilitate the sharing of personal experiences, group enrollment is limited. Enrollment in the groups is through referral by a TEACCH staff member. One of the groups meets at the Chapel Hill TEACCH Center and the other group meets at the Raleigh TEACCH Center. If you have an interest or wish to learn more about the groups please contact your TEACCH therapist or the Chapel Hill TEACCH Center via email TEACCH_ChapelHill@med.unc.edu at 919-966-5156