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.

Alliance for DSD Family and Peer Support

Hosted at Seattle Children's

This group provides information, contact and support to parents, children and young adults affected by disorders of sex development (DSD), including conditions sometimes previously referred to as "intersex." Hosted at Seattle Children's Hospital, this group meets on the first Sunday of each month from 3 to 5 p.m. Parents wanting to take part in a vibrant and supportive online community regardless of their child's specific diagnosis or whether their child is being raised as a boy or raised as a girl can visit the AIS/DSD Support Group.

  • Call Jane Goto, community liaison, at 206-271-1513, or email her to register or for more information.

Arthrogryposis Family Networking

Sponsored by Seattle Children's

Every quarter, Seattle Children's Medical Rehabilitation 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.

Children's Hydrocephalus Support Group

Hosted at Seattle Children's

We are a parent-led group hosted by Seattle Children's Neurosurgery Department that provides support, education and current research and advocacy information about living with hydrocephalus. We hold 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 visit our website for more information. You may also email support group manager Lori Poliski to be added to the distribution list or call 425-482-0479 and leave a message.

Diabetes and Me

Sponsored by Seattle Children’s

This is a 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

Eating Disorders Northwest (EDNW)

Hosted at Seattle Children's

Eating Disorders Northwest sponsors a support group for people 17 years old and older struggling with eating disorders and food and weight concerns. At each meeting, we have a facilitated discussion and an open sharing time. The group meets every Sunday from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

First Steps

Sponsored by Seattle Children's

First Steps is a support group for parents of children age 6 and under who have been diagnosed with autism in the last year and who are patients at Seattle Children's Autism Center. The group meets the first Thursday of the month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monthly meetings alternate between parent support and parent education.

  • Please contact your Seattle Children's Autism Center provider for more information.

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.

Grief Support: 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-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 once a month at Seattle Children's Hospital. Child care is offered.

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

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 and preschoolers 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.

Parent Support Program (PSP)

Sponsored by Seattle Children's

The Parent Support Program 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. Conversations between parents typically take place over the phone.

  • For more information, contact Lawrie Williams, PSP coordinator and parent, at 206-987-1119.

Pediatric Brain Injury Support Group

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

This group meets quarterly, 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 brain injury. There are also fun, organized activities provided for the children and youth ranging in ages from 5 to 21 years old. Siblings are also welcome to attend, and free childcare for children under 5 years old is provided.

  • For more information, to find out when the next meeting is taking place or to register please contact Valerie Coukoulis at 206-987-4265 or by email, as space is limited.


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.
    • 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.

Writing as a Righting Journey: Workshop for Parents Whose Children Live with a Chronic Illness

Hosted at Seattle Children's

In this reflective writing workshop parents will be guided through writing exercises as a way to explore and share thoughts, feelings and experiences about their unique journey. You do not have to be a writer to join; just have a desire to use writing as a way to explore the way illness affects your life. We will meet once a month for 6 months at Seattle Children's. Read a more detailed description of this workshop.

  • For more information or to register, contact Suzanne Edison, MA, poet and parent of a child who has juvenile myositis, at 206-325-5176, ext. 1.

This workshop is free and open to parents whose children live with ongoing health conditions or special needs.