Many parents find it enormously helpful to talk with others who share similar challenges and joys. Families of children who have ongoing health conditions or developmental differences often face unique issues not commonly experienced by all parents and caregivers. For these reasons, a variety of supportive gatherings take place at Seattle Children's Hospital. Some groups are sponsored by Seattle Children's – groups that are organized and facilitated by hospital staff or staff/family/community partnerships. Other groups are hosted at Seattle Children's – groups organized and facilitated by volunteer family leaders or community organizations.

If you attend or have attended a Seattle Children's support group, we would like to hear about your experience. Please submit your feedback by completing this short survey. Thank you.

Brain/Neurosurgery

Children’s Hydrocephalus Support Group

Hosted at Seattle Children's

We are a volunteer, parent-led group affiliated with the Hydrocephalus Association as a community network and hosted by Seattle Children's Neurosurgery Department that provides support, education, current research and advocacy information about living with hydrocephalus. We hold approximately four meetings per year (child care is provided most of the time) and a family fundraising walk/picnic in the summer. We also offer online and phone support if needed. We welcome all parents, caregivers, children and adults affected by hydrocephalus, regardless of where a person is treated. Please note that in order to hold a meeting, we will need a minimum of five in attendance, so RSVPs are very important.

Pediatric Brain Injury Support Group

Sponsored by Seattle Children's in partnership with HeadStrong and the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington

This group meets three times throughout the year, providing an opportunity for parents and caregivers to connect and share information, stories, successes and challenges faced when caring for a child or youth living with a brain injury. There are also fun, organized activities provided for the children and youth ranging in ages from 5 to 17 years old. Siblings are also welcome to attend, and free childcare is available for children under 5 years of age.

  • For more information, please see our newsletter (PDF). To find out when the next meeting is taking place or to register, please contact Sharon Ashman at 206-987-2144 or by email, as space is limited.

Diabetes/Endocrinology

Diabetes and Me

Sponsored by Seattle Children’s

This is a fun and informal workshop for middle schoolers (11–14 years old), focused on living with diabetes. Topics to be discussed may include:

  • Talking to friends and classmates about diabetes
  • Coping with the ups and downs of diabetes
  • Bullying, teasing and just feeling different
  • Dealing with high and low blood sugars
  • Making room for diabetes care in sports, activities and hobbies

Little Kids With Insulin Dependent Diabetes (L’Kidds)

Sponsored by Seattle Children's

Little Kids With Insulin Dependent Diabetes (L’Kidds) is a support group for parents of infants, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary school age kids with type 1 diabetes. We meet Saturday mornings every other month from 10 a.m. to noon at Seattle Children's Hospital. Child care is provided. We also host a fun family picnic each July.

  • To learn more or to RSVP for a group and to let us know how many children will be attending, contact Laura Stamm, parent, at 917-755-5444 or by email.

Type One Teens

Sponsored by Seattle Children's

A fun and informal workshop for high schoolers (15–18 years old) that is focused on living with diabetes, facilitated by two diabetes social workers. Topics to be discussed may include:

  • Talking to friends and classmates about diabetes
  • Coping with the ups and downs of diabetes
  • Making room for diabetes care in sports, activities and hobbies
  • Family communication
  • Driving, social life, college and transition.

Grief Support

Journey Program

Sponsored by Seattle Children's

Seattle Children's Journey Program is for any family who has experienced the death of a child. The Journey Program provides support to help families cope with death, loss and the grieving process. Our support groups for adults are facilitated by trained and caring staff.

Parent Support (PS)

Hosted at Seattle Children's

This parent-led group provides support for anyone who has experienced the loss of a child through stillbirth, miscarriage or newborn death. PS groups are led by trained parent volunteers from the community who themselves have experienced the loss of a baby. PS groups are offered throughout the Puget Sound area, including one held at Seattle Children's Hospital on the first Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m. PS also has a "Pregnancy After Loss" group that meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:30 p.m.

Heart/Cardiology

Congenital Heart Disease Support Group

Hosted at Seattle Children’s

The Pediatric Congenital Heart Association’s (PCHA) mission is to conquer congenital heart disease. We are accomplishing this through collaboration with patients, parents, providers and partner organizations in order to improve quality and outcomes through congenital heart disease (CHD) education, support, research and awareness.

The Washington chapter of the PCHA meets on the third Wednesday of every month from 6 to 8 p.m. at Seattle Children’s Hospital. The first hour is a potluck dinner social support time to build relationships and community, and the second hour is dedicated to sharing updates from PCHA. All families affected by CHD are welcome.

Heart-to-Heart Congenital Heart Defects Support Group

Hosted at Seattle Children's

This parent-led support group welcomes families who are: dealing with congenital heart defects (CHD), heart conditions from illness or heart transplant; who have learned their unborn baby may have a heart problem; or who are grieving the loss of a child to a heart condition. This group is also a place for our kids and their siblings to meet others who have gone through similar times. We meet at Seattle Children’s Hospital the second Sunday of every month at 2:30 p.m.

  • If you would like to join us or you want to know more, please contact Dr. Josephine Young, parent, at 425-460-5669 or by email.

Parents

NICU and Preemie Parent Support Group

Hosted by Seattle Children's

Seattle Parents of Preemies is a peer-led support group for parents of preemies and infants that experienced a prolonged NICU stay. Through in-person and online meetings, our group offers members community, support and education on topics relating to prematurely born and medically fragile children. Our members come from all Seattle regional area NICUs and we welcome families desiring support, even those living outside of Washington state.

Parent/Caregiver Coffee Hours

Sponsored by Seattle Children's Family Resource Center in partnership with Seattle Ronald McDonald House

The goal of the Parent/Caregiver Coffee Hours is to give parents of children staying at the hospital an opportunity to take a break from their child’s bedside and take care of themselves for a bit. We provide coffee and snacks, but – even more importantly – a safe space to connect with other parents and find support during what can be an incredibly stressful time. The coffee hours take place weekly on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Family Resource Center, which is located on level 7, River zone, by the Frog elevators.

  • For more information, email Kaarin Stowell, operations manager, or call her at 206-838-0609. At the Seattle Ronald McDonald House, we support seriously ill children and their families. In addition to providing housing, we offer essential amenities and a support system of caring volunteers, staff and other families facing the challenges of caring for a seriously ill child.

Parent Support Program

Sponsored by Seattle Children's

The Parent Support Program (PDF) offers families of children with special health needs a way to connect with an experienced volunteer parent who has been through a similar situation with their own child. Parent "matches" are made with the intention of providing emotional, practical and informational support.

  • For more information, contact Maria Cervantes, family support specialist, at 206-987-1119, or send an email.

Other

Arthrogryposis Family Networking

Sponsored by Seattle Children's

Every quarter, Seattle Children's Rehabilitation Medicine staff hosts a midday luncheon for families who have children with arthrogryposis. These luncheons coincide with the quarterly Arthrogryposis Clinic dates. They are a time to meet other families, share a meal together and learn from staff and one another.

  • For more information, contact the Rehabilitation Medicine nurse line at 206-987-2114, option 4.

Celiac Support Group

Sponsored by Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s Celiac Program hosts a provider led quarterly support group for children and families with celiac disease. Topics to be discussed include challenges with gluten-free lifestyle and nutrition. This is a time where kids can meet with others with celiac to share their experiences and create a community. We welcome all patients, parents, caregivers and siblings affected by celiac. Read more about the Seattle Children's Celiac Program.

Sibshops

Sponsored by Seattle Children's

Sibshops provide peer support and education for brothers and sisters of children with special health or developmental needs. These are lively events that include fun activities, games, special guests, discussion and information sharing. Sibshops sessions for different age groups are typically offered every other month on Saturdays throughout the school year.

Transgender and Gender-Diverse Children Support Group

Hosted at Seattle Children's

Does your child prefer to wear the clothes of the "opposite" gender or insist that he is really a girl or that she is really a boy? Do you struggle with how best to support your child (of any age) while helping them stay safe? Is your child transgender or is this just a phase? You are not alone. Come join our support and information groups and share your experiences with other parents and family members.

  • For more information about how to join these groups, contact Aidan Key at 855-4-GENDER (855-443-6337) or by email.
  • Seattle Children's Gender Clinic is requesting feedback about patients' experiences. If your family has been seen at the Gender Clinic, please complete a short survey
    • Parent Group I: For families with transgender and gender-diverse children from ages 3 to 9. Meets on the first Sunday of every month from 4 to 6 p.m.
      • There is a facilitated play group meeting at the same time in an adjacent room. Siblings are welcome. (Babies in diapers are OK with parental supervision.)
       
    • Parent Group II: For families of transgender and gender-diverse tweens ages 9 to 13. Meets on the second Sunday of every month from 4 to 6 p.m.
      • The Gender Diversity facilitated tween group meets at the same time in an adjacent room. Siblings are welcome.
       
    • Parent Group III: For families with transgender and gender-diverse teens ages 14 to 20. Meets on the third Sunday of every month from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
      • The Gender Diversity facilitated teen group, for transgender, gender-diverse and questioning teens, meets at the same time in an adjacent room. Siblings are welcome.
       
    • Parent Group IV: For families with adult-age transgender and gender-diverse children. Meets on the third Sunday of every month from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the same space as our teen group.
      • Please note that there is no meeting for trans adults – just their families.