Understanding the Puzzling Pieces of Autism

Support Groups

This is a list of support groups that meet throughout the state of Iowa. Please let us know if you have a support group to add or remove from our list. Email autism50ia@aol.com

Ames: Adult Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)- Ages 18 and older

  • When: 4th Monday of the Month, 6:00-7:00p.m
    • Initial meetings:
      • Monday, November 20th
      • Monday, December 18th
  • Where: Ames Public Library, Farwell T Brown Auditorium
Contact: Tracy Dixson (641-208-4172)
  • Other Info: Bring yourself and snacks to share!

Ames: Ames Support Group ASpire-Central Iowa Autism Spectrum

  • When: 1st Tuesday of each month, 6:30-8:30p.m
  • Where: Ames AEA Office ( 511 S. 17th Street)
Contact: Jamie Gurganus at 515-232-7583 X 12327 or jgurganus@heartlandaea.org or Jane Runneals, 515-382-5066 or jane@runneals.com
  • Other Info: Parent information, resources and education. Child care is no longer provided.

Ankeny: SMART (Supportive Moms and Dads Accessing Resources Together)

When: First Thursday of each month, 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Where:  Old Chicago, 2732 SE Delaware Ave #101, Ankeny, IA
  • Contact: Any information regarding the group and/or meetings is posted on their FB page, Ankeny Smart. For further information, contact Kerry Beyer Lust at kerrylust@hotmail.com.

Atlantic: Southwest Iowa Support Group

When: Meeting frequency varies based on interest of active members.
  • Where:  Meeting location varies.
  • Contact Susan Smith for more information at bcba99@gmail.com

Burlington: National Alliance on Mental Illness of Burlington

When: 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Where: Meeting location varies.
  • Contact Terri, 319-750-2220 or Tamee, 319-392-4016 or email at namigreatriverarea@gmail.com
  • Other Info: These meetings are open to all individuals who have a loved one with mental illness.

Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Hudson, Waverly and surrounding areas:  Asperger’s Support Group of Cedar Valley

  • Support group for individuals and parents of children with Asperger’s in the Cedar Falls / Waterloo / Hudson/ Waverly Iowa and surrounding areas.
  • When: Meets every other Wednesday morning at 9am
  • Where: Check Facebook for locations:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/650340418335643/
  • Contact: Sunshine Fox asfox74@gmail.com

Cedar Rapids: East Central Iowa Autism Society Chapter of Cedar Rapids

Council Bluffs: Autism Support Group

When: The Second Tuesday of each month. 6-7p.m.
  • Where: Roosevelt Elementary School
Contact: Lori Durand, GHAEA Autism Consultant –  ldurand@ghaea.org or 712-328-0540
Other Info: We have free childcare available and all are welcome.

Creston: The Learning Center Breathe Easy Lunch Club

  • When: Third Thursday of each month 11:30am-1:30pm – potluck lunch
  • Where:  1715 West Prairie Street, Suite 4, Creston, IA
  • Contact:  RSVP: 641-202-2948 or TheLearningCenter2014@gmail.com

Des Moines Metro: Family & Educator Partnership (FEP)

When: 3rd Thursdays of the month, during the school year – 9:30-11.00 a.m.
  • Where: The 100th Street Corner Cafe, 2731 100th St. Urbandale, IA
Contact: Kari Paulsen, phone: 515-270-9030, kpaulsen@heartlandaea.org
  • Website: Heartland AEA Family & Educator Partnership:  http://www.heartlandaea.org/special-education/special-education-services/fep/
Other Info: A Parent/Guardian discussion group for families who have children birth through graduation with an IFSP, IEP or 504.  Families in the Johnston, West Des Moines, Urbandale, Saydel, Ankeny, Dallas Center-Grimes & Waukee districts will find support and networking with others who have similar experiences & challenges.  Families from other districts are welcome to join us!  Breakfast items available to purchase.

Dubuque: Dubuque Support Group Through Mercy Autism Center

  • When: Tuesday, March 19, April 16 & May 21, 6:30-8:00p.m.
  • Where: Professional Arts Plaza, 3rd Floor Cardiac Rehab Rm, 200 Mercy Drive, Dubuque, IA
  • Contact: Please RSVP at 563-589-9456

Fort Dodge: Fort Dodge Support Group

  • When: 3rd Tuesday of every month, 6:00-8:00p.m.
  • Where: The United Way, 803 Central Ave., Fort Dodge
  • Contact: Dedie Thompson, 712-262-4704 X2012, dthompson@aea8.k12.us

Ft. Madison/Keokuk: Salute to Parents of ASD and Non-Typical Individuals

  • When: 2nd Tuesday of every month, 6:30-7:30p.m.
  • Where: The Loyal Order of Moose, known as the “Moose Lodge”, 624 Ave G, Ft. Madison 319-372-4351
  • Contact: Christine Bowker – cj.king@live.com 319-470-0407 or Shannon Tackes – sktackes@gmail.com 319-670-9920

Iowa City: Southeastern Iowa GRASP (Global & Regional Apergers Syndrome Partnership)

When: 2nd & 4th Saturday of each month, 1:00-3:00p.m.
  • Where: Uptown Bill’s Coffee House, 730 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City, IA
  • Contact: Brian Bennett, bennbrian@gmail.com or southeastiowagrasp@gmail.com
  • Other Info: For adults on the autism spectrum

Iowa City: The Iowa City Autism Community

  • When: Every Friday, 11a.m. to 12p.m.
  • Where: At the accessible playground at the Arc – 2620 Muscatine Ave, Iowa City, IA 52240
  • Contact: To be added to the email list, contact Vicki Walch at vickiwalch@gmail.com  If you want to know more about The Iowa City Autism Community contact us at icautismcommunity@hotmail.com or join our Facebook group.
  • Other Info: Children are free to play, make friends and be themselves in a safe and accessible area while parents can connect for informal conversation. All parents and caregivers of children on the autism spectrum are welcome to attend, regardless of whether or not their child participates in the play group. Parents and caregivers of older children as well as children who are not on the spectrum are also welcome. Sign up is not necessary.
  • Website: http://autismiowacity.org

Marshalltown: Marshalltown Autism Support Group

  • When: This support group is currently inactive.
  • Contact Jenn Pedersen for more information, 641-752-7845, jennped@gmail.com

Mason City: Special Kids Special Love

Mt. Pleasant: Our Special Kids


  • When: 2nd Sunday of each month, 5:30-6:30 pm
  • Where: Wild Poppy Salon & Day Spa, 115 W. McLane, Osceola
  • Contact: Becky at 641-414-4272 or Monika at 641-414-6892
  • Other Info: Please bring $5 donation for use of the space to each meeting

Oskaloosa: Families of Autism

Ottumwa:  Rocking The Spectrum

  • When:  2nd Saturday of each month at 2:00pm
  • Where:  Faith Baptist Church, Ottumwa, IA 52501
  • Contact Marci Prose at 641-799-6210 or email marciprose@gmail.com
  • Other Info:  Website: – Rocking The Spectrum

Quad Cities: Quad Cities Autism Society
 – Autism Society of the Quad-Cities offers support groups for teens, young adults, and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome. All support groups are offered free of charge.

  • Family Support Group – Thursday, January 8, 2015
    The group meets at Robert Young Mental Health Center, 500 John Deere Road, Moline, at 5:30 p.m. Contact Kathy Doherty at 309-779- 3053.  If you need child care, please call in advance so we may arrange for it.
  • Older Teens, Young Adults  – Social support group for young adults with autism. It is called the YES! Support Group (Young, Exuberant, Spectrumites). It meets the first Friday of each month at 6:30 p.m. with locations changing depending on the activity. There is no charge to attend.   Contact Dr. Theresa Schlabach (563) 333-6279 or schlabachtheresal@sau.edu St. Ambrose University 1320 W. Lombard St., Davenport, Iowa 52804
  • Adult Asperger’s Syndrome Support Group  – The group meets at Hand-In-Hand 3860 Middle Road, Bettendorf, Iowa 52722 (563) 332-8010, from 1-3 p.m. Contact Karen Perry for next meeting date.

Shenandoah: Southwest Iowa Autism Support Group

Sioux Center: NW Iowa Support Group

  • When: September, November, January, March, April, May, 6:30-8:00p.m.
  • Where: AEA 4 Bldg., 1382 4th Ave., NE, Sioux Center
Contact: Pam Megill, 1-800-572-5073, pmegill@AEA4.k12.ia.us
  • Other Info: Call for meeting dates or to sign up for meetings.

Sioux City: Siouxland Autism Support Group

When: 2nd Thursday of each month, 6:30-8:00p.m.
  • Where: Northwest AEA Bldg., 1520 Morningside Ave. in Sioux City
  • Contact: Julie Case, 712-943-7847, jcases5@longlines.com, Tammy Keegan, tammy.keegan@tyson.com  or Julie at 712-490-8939 or email at siouxlandautism@live.com
  • Other:  For upcoming events, click here. 
    • FEBRUARY 2016  Family Event (No regular meeting this month)
    • When: Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    • Where: Rollerama, 4500 Stone Ave. Sioux City, Iowa
    • Time: 6:30-8:00p.m.
      Come out and have some family fun in a safe atmosphere with other families with children on the spectrum. If your child has a friend or relative that likes to skate bring them along. There will be nursing student there to help you with your children. The event is sponsored by the Siouxland Autism Support Group and is free of charge

Spencer: Autism Spectrum Support Group – NW IA

  • When: 3rd Monday of each month, 7:00-8:30p.m.
  • Where: Hope Reformed Church, 919 Grand Ave., Spencer, IA. (the corner of W 9th St & Grand Ave – acrossfrom Hy-Vee store.)
  • Contact: Carma Betz, e-mail: cjb6154@gmail.com, home 712-262-7282, cell 712-260-6154 Amy Allen, 712-240-0454
  • Other Info: New members always welcome, casual/drop-in group. Daycare available with PRIOR arrangements, contact Carma. Very casual! We also have a Facebook page with details “Autism Support Group – Spencer, IA” anyone is welcome to post.

Spillville:  RAP Autism Support Group – NE Iowa

  • When: Second Thursday of the month, 5-6:30pm
  • Where: Taylor Made Bed and Breakfast, 330 S Main Street, Spillville, IA
  • Contact: Please contact Regional Autism Assistance Program (RAP) family navigator at lea-vanhorn@uiowa.edu or 319-283-4135
  • Other Info: Please join us for this open, friendly, confidential group created for parents/caregivers of children with ASD! Share ideas, gain and offer support and learn about new strategies, local resources and being an advocate for your children. Hosted by John and Shirley Mikota. Light refreshments will be served. Please note childcare is not provided.

Storm Lake: Storm Lake Support Group

  • When: 1st Tuesday of each month, 7:00p.m.
  • Where:
  Contact Michelle or Patti for location
  • Contact: Michelle Grant, 712-732-5927, Patti Todd, 712-732-4528


Waverley: Autism Connection Group

  • When:
    • Thursday, November 30th 6:30 – 8:00PM – MEANINGFUL HOLIDAYS FOR THOSE ON SPECTRUM For Parents, Caregivers, and others interested community members
    • Wednesday, December 13th 6:00 – 7:30PM – PRE-CHRISTMAS GREETINGS ON MAIN PARTY For Children on the spectrum, Parents, and Caregivers
    • For details on the above events, click here.
  • Where:
  Northern Iowa Therapy KIDS – 217 East Bremer Ave., Waverly, IA
  • Contact: Call 319-352-1234 to RSVP or for more information.