Ideas for Support Group Meetings

Every parent support group has its own unique members and needs!  Group Leaders are at liberty to develop programs that meet the needs of their groups.  However, sometimes, we all need a few new ideas!  So here are some ideas that you may wish to use!  The themes for each month will be utilized by Autism Oklahoma for constant contact, web articles, and social media!  Be creative with the themes and develop and share your ideas!

These speakers have agreed to partner with us on speaking to the groups.  Click here!

You might want to show and discuss a video during your meeting.  If you know of a good video, please let us know and we will start a library and publish the titles that we have.

Theme for Month of September:  Get Connected!

We will  focus on re-introducing our Connection Circles and the programs offered by our groups, the PieceWalk committee, and more.  All of these committees provide a way for our families to work together AND be connected to each other!

Ideas for September meeting:

  • Invite Jan Moss and have a laugh! (see speakers list)
  • Invite a parent to tell their story. Focus on how being involved in the PieceWalk or Connection Circle has been a positive influence.
  • Go around the room and ask each parent to introduce themselves. Tell the best thing about last school year and your dream for this year.
  • Brainstorm about the needs of the group. How can we help each other live life?  Bring a straw man calendar for the meetings to get input.
  • Play “getting to know you” games.  (Source)

Theme for October:  Get Educated!

The Statewide Autism Conference is usually held in October.  We will promote this event as well as the education programs offered by our Connection Circles. Book a speaker or develop a great program for October. Don’t forget to thank your speakers with a personal note or maybe a gift card! Here are some ideas:

Possible Speakers:

  • Dr. Jennifer Jones (Marriage & Family Relationships)
  • Dr. Lara Mattox (Autism Through The Years)
  • Ellen Kimbrell Oklahoma Parent Network? (IEP Training)
  • Traci Cook (Emotional Thermometer)
  • Dr. Beth DeGrace (Sensory)
  • Sandy Mold, Edmond Family Counselling
  • Lorraine Auchter, Sensational Kids
  • Shannon Roberson, SLP
  • Dr. Jennifer Morris
  • Dee Blose (Being a Family)
  • Melinda Lauffenburger
  • Tara Warwick, Today’s Therapy Solutions
  • Kelly Wagner, Today’s Therapy Solutions
  • Resource Night: Set up 3-8 table topics such as diet, sensory experiences, working with the schools, becoming a teenager, etc. Ask a parent or community expert to man each table. Allow parents to move around the room to spend time at each table.  Ask parents in September to help identify relevant table topics and identify experts.
  • Invite the special education resolution center to do a training
  • Invite a panel of adults who have autism
  • Have door prizes or special gifts!
  • Host a training on how to partner with the schools

Theme for November:  Get Ready for the Holidays

If your group focuses on the problem, November can be a great time to develop a program that focuses on the positives and  ways to be thankful.

  • Brainstorm on tips to make holidays successful. Be sure to have a few of your own before the meeting. Send out a newsletter about the meeting to prime the pump to share!
  • Ask an expert to help with a Make & Take Reward System.  A new  and positive behavior tool is always great for the holidays and can make a big difference in how smoothly your family can work together! (Try Today’s Therapy Solutions)
  • Hire a photographer who can take a family picture. Let everyone know about this ahead of time. Invite Santa. Arrange sources to make Christmas cards from your pictures.
  • Group Discussion:  The best part of this school year so far! I never thought life would be this good, here’s what happened…….
  • Get a speaker (see September & October)
  • Spotlight a Family
  • Get a First Responder speaker (fireman, police, ambulance, etc.)

Theme for December:  Dashing Through the Snow!

This is a great time to have a party, incorporate Dash, and have a FUN relaxing time!

  • Social event with Santa and/or Dash
  • Watch a movie or play a game
  • Wrap presents together
  • Bring a snack to share, maybe a healthy one!
  • Change the location of the meeting