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Support Groups for Parents of Teens & Young Adults

by Michele Norfleet, studioD

Many parents feel alone when coping with difficulties that their kids face during the teen and young adult years, including depression, addiction, illnesses and disabilities. Depending on the issue, there are local groups within most communities to help parents deal with these specific concerns. There are also websites dedicated to helping parents as they navigate the special concerns associated with teens and young adults.

Special Needs

Helping teens and young adults with disabilities transition from an educational setting to a productive and independent life is a challenge for the person with a disability but also presents special challenges for parents. Schools typically work with young people to help them prepare for an independent life. But many parents are concerned with the best avenue for their young adult to take or may be doubtful of their child’s ability to live independently. Support groups, such as Advance LA in Los Angeles and the PACER Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, are available to help the young adult with this transition and to support parents through the process. Easter Seals is a service available in most communities that offers support groups to parents of young people with disabilities, such as autism, cerebral palsy and developmental disabilities.


Parents of teens with addiction can find support and answers to their questions through online services such as Parent Pathway. Experts, including interventionists and drug and alcohol counselors, are available online to offer assistance. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has a website dedicated to providing teens and parents with the science of drug abuse. The site offers information for teens and parents about drug abuse, prevention and treatment.

Troubled Teens

Answers For Parents is an online program that helps parents connect with services for troubled teens and young adults. The service is free and helps parents make informed decisions about treatment from residential programs and schools to in-home intervention programs. Support and suggestions are provided by parents of troubled teens in weekly meetings offered by Because I Love You, a parent support group offered in various locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The website lists locations for meetings.

General Support

The National Parent Helpline gives parents the option of talking with trained parent advocates who offer emotional support, help you get connected with local services and just listen to you. The website offers state-by-state resources with links to specific programs within different states. Parents Without Partners is a non-profit membership organization that focuses on the specific needs of single parents. The group gives single parents the opportunity to communicate with other single parents who may be experiencing similar situations with their children, including teens and young adults. Groups offer educational, social and family activities.

About the Author

Michele Norfleet is a freelance writer who writes on travel, home and garden and education topics. She has coauthored a handbook for teachers on school-wide discipline and has contributed tips for special-needs students in the basal curriculum for RCL Benziger. Norfleet holds a master's degree from Southern Illinois University and has experience as a special-needs teacher and speech pathologist.

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