There's no doubt about it, being a teen is tough. Being a teen with Asperger's syndrome is even harder. Teens want to make friends, learn about relationships and begin their quest for independence. This doesn't change whether you have AS or not, AS just makes it more difficult. For many teens, finding a place they belong is important. They want to socialize but don't know how or feel too isolated and alone to know where to start. Support groups can help but can be hard to find. Below are a number of resources to help you find groups in your area on on the internet.
In-Person Support Group Directories
This site has two directories: one for local help and services and one for nationwide services. You can search for support groups, doctors, therapists, camps, schools and moderated support message boards.
- Local Help and Services - a searchable directory by state and town
- National Help and Services - a listing of national organizations who help support individuals and families living with autism, Asperger's syndrome or PDD.
GRASP - search for both online discussion groups and regional, in-person support groups
Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities - search by state or by zip code (directions for searching by zip code are on the web page) to find educational consultants, doctors, therapists, coaches, advocates, learning centers, community centers, support groups
Meetup.com - a listing of local groups around the country. Many groups are available for children and teens with AS. You can also find parent support groups. If you can't find a group in your area, there is information on how you can start a Meetup group.
Asperger Foundation International - has a listing of national organizations as well as support groups listed by state
Autism Society - offers a resource directory for services and support
Local and Regional Directories
There are a number of smaller directories that focus on a specific area. The OASIS link above provides a local search and has many local support groups listed.
Support groups in the UK
Autism Resource Center of South Florida
Support groups in NY
ASPEN - Non-profit organization in New Jersey
Asperger's Association of New England
If you know of additional directories, please post them in the comment section so others can find support. If you know of a specific support group, you can post a comment with information on the group, including the location so others can find you.
Online Support Groups and Message Boards
Yahoo Groups Directory for Asperger's Syndrome - Yahoo hosts a number of different groups. The directory will help you find the best one for your situation.
Asperger Syndrome Info Discussion Board
ChildrensDisabilities.info has a list of online email support groups.
Asperger's Syndrome Forum
If you are helping your teen find an online support group, you can also look under their special interest topic. Be sure to go over safety rules for joining an online group and communicating online.
Published On: August 10, 2011