Support groups

Around 1 in every 100 Australians is autistic, and more than 85% of the community has a personal connection with autism. If you’re looking for someone who can relate to your experiences, chances are they’re in your neighbourhood.

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Support groups can be an invaluable resource especially for autistic people, parents and carers, and other family members.

They can provide a friendly, non-judgemental and open space to share challenges and triumphs. They can be an important source of information on local services and supports, such as an informed opinion on local schools. Some of these groups may also run training sessions, social skills groups, or hold events with guest speakers.

There are many support groups around Victoria. Some are autism-specific, whilst others are more general disability support groups. Some are for parents and some are for autistic people.

The downloadable directory below gives more information on Victorian support groups, including contact details.

Start your own support group

If there isn’t a suitable support group in your area, you might be interested in starting your own. Download the resource below for some tips to get started.

You can also contact the Amaze Autism Advisors for more advice. Call 1300 308 699, email info@amaze.org.au or use the webchat service on this site (8am–7pm, Mon–Fri).

Download the information sheet

Carer resources

These organisations provide assistance and support to families and carers of autistic people:

  • Carers Victoria provides respite, free counselling, and information for families in Victoria.
  • Association for Children with a Disability (ACD) provide advocacy and information service for families of children with any type of disability living in Victoria. They have a number of resources designed to help families find support and navigate the social service system.
  • Aspergers Victoriais a volunteer-run not for profit which provides information and support to those with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism. Their services include social and support groups for people with Aspergers and their parents and carers, siblings and partners. They also host seminars, have a library, social media and an informative website.
  • National Carers Counselling Programsupports carers of children with a disability through 600 centres around Australia.
  • Family Relationship Support for Carersoffer free counselling, mediation and future planning support for families caring for someone with a disability.
  • Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres provide free and confidential information on local carer support, disability and community services. Contact your nearest centre by phoning 1800 052 222 or find out more on the Carers Victoria website.
  • Parentline is a phone service for parents and carers of children up to 18 years old. It offers confidential and anonymous counselling and support on parenting issues. Call 13 22 89.
  • Lifeline is a 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention service. Call 13 11 14.

For more information

To find out more about peer support groups, please contact the Amaze Autism Advisors on 1300 308 699, email info@amaze.org.au or use the webchat on this site. This service is open from 8am–7pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

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