Support for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Parent Support Groups

Photo of Young Hispanic girl in braids with MotherWhether you are seeking support or wish to share what you have learned to support others, in-person and online support groups are designed to help.

Please contact SD Parent Connection at 1-800-640-4553 or to learn of other available resources and/or to share information on support groups in your area.

Because support group information is subject to change, please contact groups of interest for current information.

Support Groups by disability or disorder found on this page:
| Asthma/Allergies | Autism | Brain Injury | Cross Disability/Disorder | Down Syndrome | Epilepsy  | Fragile X  | Grief and Loss Support Groups | Mental / Emotional / Behavioral Health | Sibling Support | Special Health Needs | Visual Impairment


Online Support Group is a digital resource for parents of children with learning and attention issues. The Understood community is a place to convene and converse with parents on a journey to seek free expert advice from trusted professionals; participate in daily chats and webinars; share personal experiences in a secure environment with other parents.


No Nuts Moms Group-Sioux Falls
Group Leader: Nikki Cisse  Email:


Aberdeen Area Autism Spectrum Disorder Parent Support Group

Autism Parent Support Group - Center for Disabilities
Tuesday evenings from 6-7pm on September 11, February 12, October 9, March 12, November 13, April 16.  Parents and caregivers of individuals of all ages on the Autism Spectrum are welcome. Child care will be offered during each meeting. You are required to register your child(ren) for care one week prior to the meeting date. There are a limited number of child care spots due to the availability of child care volunteers. Additional information will be provided after registration.  Held at USD Health Science Center, Center for Disabilities, 1400 W 22nd St., Sioux Falls. For information or to register, contact Caitlin Borges at 605-357-1559 or

Autism Parent Support Group Sioux Falls - Facebook

Autism Society of the Black Hills
Please check website for current activities.
Phone: 605-415-6582   Email:

Central South Dakota Autism Society
For more information contact Helen Beckwith at 605-567-3391, Gail Eichstadt at 605-224-1508, or Cheryl Ulmen at 605-223-0283.

Siouxland Autism Support Group
Second Thursday of every month at Western Hills Area Education Agency, 1520 Morningside Ave., Sioux City. For more information call, 274-6000. ext. 6040.

Brain Injury

Aberdeen Area Brain Injury Support Group
Group meets the third Tuesday of the month from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Rehabilitation Center on the fourth floor of Avera St. Luke's Hospital. For more information, please contact Ron Hoops at 605-395-6655.

Brookings Area Brain Injury Support Group
Meets the first Thursday of the month from 3-4 p.m. at the Brookings Hospital. Contact Doris Schumacher or call 605-697-6678.

Rapid City Brain Injury Support Group of the Black Hills 
The Brain Injury Support Group of Black Hills meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 6:00 PM at The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center, located at 803 Soo San Drive in Rapid City. The group is open to individuals with a brain injury, their families/caregivers, and professionals. Contact Dr. Justine Ashokar at 605-343-7297 or

Sioux Falls Area Brain Injury Support Group
The Sioux Falls Area Brain Injury Support Group meets on the 2nd Saturday of every month at 1:00 PM at The Center for Active   Generations, located at 2300 W. 46th Street. The support group provides an environment for brain injury survivors and their families to   share accomplishments and struggles, and to find others who understand. The group invites an educational speaker at least every 2-3   months. A monthly newsletter is sent out to those on the mailing list. If you would like to receive this newsletter or want more   information, please contact us. Contact Karen Brokenleg (605-339-0137), Deb Lichty (605) 322-5066, or Mary Tommeraasen (605) 367-5260.

Cross Disability/Disorder

Pathways - Sioux Falls
Pathways is a group of parents, family members, support providers and others who believe individuals with disabilities should have the opportunity to plan a life that is challenging, balanced, and based on the individual's values, gifts and passions.  New members are welcome.  To learn more contact

GKSN - Grandparents of Kids with Special Needs

Our newest initiative—both a Facebook group and a Yahoogroup. As our members tell us, "If you have a grandchild with special needs, no one will understand your joys and concerns better than another grandparent." Visit GKSN at

Brookings Area Parenting Advocacy Group

Parents, guardians, caregivers of school aged children of any ability, school staff and anyone who is interested. Meeting times will be the first Thursday of each month from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. We will meet at Music Therapy Empowers, 627 2nd Street S. Ste A, Brookings, SD. For more information contact Anne Cosgrove Wimberly at 605-695-0826 or

Down Syndrome

Rapid City Ups of Downs Family Support Group
For more information, contact Angie at 605-348-1358 or visit

Sioux Falls New Directions Down Syndrome Association
Provides information about Down Syndrome, directions to resources, networking opportunities and also has a Family Financial Assistance Program. For more information, visit, e-mail or call 605-610-8026. New Directions can also be found on Facebook.


Sioux Falls Area Epilepsy Support Group

FaceBook Page. Visit and request to join this closed group for parents with children with seizure disorders and individuals with seizure disorders. Further information available from Heather Johnson at

Fragile X

Heartland Fragile X Alliance of Iowa/South Dakota
Support group for families of children with fragile X.  Email to be added to newsletter and quarterly conference call list.

Grief and Loss Support

Avera Child and Adolescent Grief Programs
To learn more call 605-322-4074, 1-888-668-8700, or 1-800-691-4336.

Black Hills Area Survivors of Suicide Support Group
Meetings are held every 4th Saturday of every month from 10am - 12pm at the First Congregational UCC Church at 1200 Clark Street in Rapid City. No RSVP is required to attend.

Pierre Adult Grief Counseling
Monthly support group meets the 14th of every month at 6:30 p.m. and is open to all adult survivors of suicide. Meetings are held at Capital University Center, 925 E Sioux Avenue. Contact Avera St. Mary's Foundation at 605-224-3451

Rapid City Suicide Grief Counseling
An eight-week support group for those who have lost a family member, friend, or colleague to suicide. The group is facilitated by peer members of the L.O.S.S. Team and provides education, support, and other resources specific to suicide grief and loss. This is not an open, ongoing group and is scheduled based on need, so please call to RSVP at 605-348-6692 to attend this group. For more information, please contact Stephanie Schweitzer-Dixon at 605-348-6692 or email

Adult Grief Program
Grief is usually a painful feeling that can affect your entire being - emotionally, socially, physically and spiritually. Counselors will offer information about the normal grief process during this program for adults or seniors. Next meeting is Saturday, October 20, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.  Pre-registration required. Call 322-4074 or 800-691-4336. Sessions held at Education Classroom G616, Avera Behavioral Health Center, 4400 W. 69th Street.  
Sioux Falls Grief and Loss Support Group
Sanford Hospice
For those who have experienced the loss of a loved one through death. Grieving a loss is a process that involves accepting the reality of the loss, identifying and expressing the feelings associated with the loss, adjusting to life without your loved one, saying good-bye and moving on. This group will facilitate your accomplishing these tasks in a supportive, comfortable environment. Call Sanford 605-328-4440 to register.

Sioux Falls Infant Loss Support Group
Sanford USD Medical Center
Offers infant loss support for families that have encountered miscarriages, stillbirths or SIDS. If you, or someone you know, would benefit from this service, please call 605-312-3938.

Infant Loss Support Group-Avera, Sioux Falls
Offers a 6 week series support group for families who are grieving the death of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death.  This series is offered three times throughout the year.  Meets each Saturday from 1:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m. Next session is October 20 at Avera Behavioral Health Center, 4400 W. 69th St. , Education Classroom G616.  For more information or to register for this sesson please contact Mark VandeBraak PhD, MTBC< FT at 605-322-4074 or through email at Pre-registration required. Call 322-4074 or 800-691-4336.

Sioux Falls Sad Isn't Bad Grief Support Series

Sioux Falls Area Compassionate Friends
For children and families who have lost a loved one. Support Group meets at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3801 E. 26th Street, Sioux Fall from 7:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month.  For more information call Peggy at 605-351-8823

Compassionate Friends Private Facebook Groups

Surviving After Suicide Support Group-Sioux Falls
The SAS Monthly Support Groups is held the first Thursday of each month from 7:00-8:30pm at the Helpline Center - 1000 N. West Ave, Suite 310. Our SAS meetings are held in an atmosphere that is warm and friendly and nonjudgmental. Anyone who has lost a family member or friend is invited to attend, whether it is a recent loss or many years ago. Feelings shared are kept confidential and discussed only within the confines of the group meeting. Thus, our SAS support groups provide a comfortable, non-threatening setting to share our experiences and thoughts.
Questions are encouraged to help in coping with the different stages of the grieving process and with the feelings that are particularly intense in the aftermath of suicide-denial, shock, disbelief, sadness, anger, guilt and shame. We end our discussion sessions by sharing something positive that has recently taken place or something good you are anticipating.
There is no fee and no registration required.  You are welcome to attend at anytime.

Mental / Emotional / Behavioral Health

See also Cross Disability/Disorder Listings

South Dakota NAMI Support Groups:
Family Support Groups
Sioux Falls: 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month at First Congregational Church, 11th & Minnesota, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. 1st and 3rd Sunday at St. John's Lutheran, 1912 W 13th at 6:00 pm
Rapid City: First and third Tuesdays at 515 N 1st Street; 7 pm
Spearfish: 2nd Thursday of each month (except July) at 7 pm, Hudson Hall, Room B, 222 Hudson Street; also the last Friday of each month at 11:30 am at 119 E Grant Road
Pierre: Every Thursday at Bradford Hall inside the First Congregational Church, 123 N. Highland Ave, 5:30-7:00 pm
Watertown: First Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church, 110 3rd St SW
Brookings: 3rd Sunday of the month at 6:00 pm at Faith Reformed Church, 1330 S. Main

Connection Support Groups

Aberdeen:  1st and 3rd Wednesday at 6:00 -7:00 pm at the ARCC (Aberdeen Recreational Cultural Center
Sioux Falls: Every Sunday at First Congregational Church, 11th and Minnesota, 6-7:30 pm; Monday at First Congregational Church, 11th & Minnesota, 11:30 am-1:00 pm; Tuesday at First Christian Reformed Church, 2901 E 26th St, 6:30-8 pm; Thursday at First Presbyterian Church, 2300 S. West, 4:00-5:30 pm
Pierre: Every Thursday at Bradford Hall, 5:30-7:00 pm
Spearfish: Every Thursday at 723 Dahl Road, 7-8:30 pm
Madison: Every Tuesday at Madison Regional Health System, Conference Room 3, 5:30-7 pm
Yankton: Every other Tuesday at 1st United Methodist Church, 6:30-8 pm
Custer: Every third Wednesday of the month at the library meeting room, 6 pm
Brookings: The second Monday of each month at the Brookings Hospital Board room, 6:30-8:00 pm
Watertown: The first Monday of each month at Immaculate Conception Church, 7 pm

Rapid City Parents of Children with Anxiety Disorders and OCD

Meets the 3rd Thursday of every month from 6-8pm at the Morningside Café-710 N. LaCrosse #2. For more information, call Shelly at 605-342-7267.

Back To Top

Sibling Support

SD SIBS: Support and Inspire our Brothers and Sisters
SD SIBS is a state chapter of Sibling Leadership Network (SLN), an organization committed to providing siblings of individuals with disabilities the information, support and tools to advocate with their brothers and sisters and to promote the issues important to them and their entire families. For more information, contact Sara Hansen at

Designed for siblings (ages 6-13) of children with special needs. Visit our Siblings page on this website. Contact SD Parent Connection at 1-800-640-4553 or (Family Life/Sibling) for more information.

SibNet is online community of sisters and brothers of people who have disabilities. They share concerns and challenges,  insights and joys that only other sibs are likely to understand as well as information about services, resources, and strategies that help members advocate for their brothers and sisters, themselves, and their families.

SibTeen is Facebook group where teenage sibs of people with disabilities can connect with others who get it.


Sib20 is a Facebook group where twenty-something sibs of people with disabilities connect with others who "get it." It's sibling support from a young adult perspective. 

Sibling Leadership Network
The mission of the Sibling Leadership Network is to provide siblings of individuals with disabilities the information, support and tools to advocate with their brothers and sisters and to promote the issues important to them and their entire families.

Special Health Needs

Food Allergies Support Group
Informational and supportive group for parents of children with food allergies and related diseases. The group meets the first Monday of each month, August through May, at 7 p.m. at Embrace Church in Sioux Falls, SD. Child care is available. For more information contact Brenda Nour at 605-480-1482 or at

Rapid City Thumpers

Support group for parents of children with heart anomalies. Call Dixie at 605-642-1669 for more information.

Sioux Falls Mended Little Hearts of the Sioux Empire

For children and young adults with a heart condition and their families.

Spina Bifida Support Group of South Dakota
Located in Rapid City, SD. Whether you were born with Spina Bifida, or have a family member or friend with it, we want everyone to know that you are not alone. This group is also for parents and siblings of those who have Spina Bifida.  If you or anyone you know who would like to be a part of this support group please email Andrea Ebsen at

Visual Impairment

Aberdeen Area Family Support Group for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
Meets quarterly. For more information, please contact Amy Scepaniak at 605-626-2580 or

Sioux Falls Area Family Support Group for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
Please contact Indira Dillon at 605-995-8191 or or Julie Van Dover at or 605-626-2580 for information.

Contact UsContact Us

The contents of this website were developed under grants from the U.S. Department of Education Project Grant H328M140021; Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Grant H84MC07994, Family to Family Health Information Center, $96,750 and approximately 5% financed with non-governmental resources. The contents should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by US Department of Education, HRSA, HHS or the Federal Government.