Support Groups for Special Needs in Fairfax County

Fairfax County Support Groups 

Nova Special Education Resources thanks all those volunteers who provided permission to be listed here. Should anyone discover that information on this list is outdated, please contact me immediately .

Autism Support

Parents of Autistic Children of Northern Virginia (POAC-NoVa) is a non-profit run entirely by volunteers through which families to help families, with a focus on providing a online community and addressing the educational needs of children who have an autism spectrum disorder.  It operates a list serve, holds membership meetings, and also offers parent support meetings (check their calendar for details). POAC-NoVa is based in Fairfax County but is a resource for families across Northern Virginia. The POAC-NoVa list serve is an excellent resource for information exchange and referrals to specialists. The POAC-Nova website is particularly helpful for learning about free training events related to autism spectrum disorders.  POAC-Nova maintains an extensive calendar of events throughout the metro area that relate to autism spectrum disorders.  To join the support group, contact Nicole Zupan at Support group meetings are typically held on Saturdays in the library at Abiding Presence Lutheran Church, 6304 Lee Chapel Rd., Burke, VA 22015.

The Fairfax Autism Network meets the 4 th Friday of every month at 10 a.m. at St. Raymond’s Church in Springfield, Virginia.  For more information, contact Teresa Champion, 703-440-8843, , June Adlesberger at , or Jen Tucker at

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Support  

CHADD of Northern Virginia (CHADD-NOVA) is a chapter of the national CHADD organization (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder CHADD-NOVA holds periodic meetings with presentations from professionals in the region and also keeps a calendar for support group meetings.  For more information see the CHADD calendar  or contact Ann Roberts at 703-641-8940.

Mental Health Support

The National Alliance on Mental Illness-Northern Virginia (NAMI Northern Virginia) is a chapter of the national NAMI organization which has a mission to serve both adults and children with mental health needs.  NAMI Northern Virginia has a website, operates an email list and offers parent support meetings. To subscribe to the NAMI Northern Virginia email list, send an email to requesting to be added to the list.

NAMI Northern Virginia has a Help Line which is answered by local volunteers each afternoon during the week.  The number is (703) 968-4007. Messages left on voice mail are generally returned within 24 hours. The national organization also has a help line that is open from 10-6 (ET) Monday through Friday. For those in crisis, the 24-hour toll free and confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

The following NAMI Northern Virginia support groups are for family members with a focus on parents and caregivers of children under 18.  Please check the NAMI Northern Virginia Family Programs website page for updates and for information about classes like “Family-to-Family” and “Basics” (for parents and caregivers of youth).

NAMI Northern Virginia’s Fairfax City Family Support Group meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m at Woodson High School (library), 9525 Main Street, Fairfax, VA 22032.

NAMI Northern Virginia’s Springfield Family Support Group meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (Room #24), 8304 Old Keene Mill Road, West Springfield, VA 22152

NAMI Northern Virginia also offers free Youth Fests throughout the year.  These provide an opportunity for teens, young adults, children and families to come together for fun, while also providing an opportunity for sharing, support and learning about local resources.  Subscribe to the NAMI Northern Virginia email list at to receive event and program announcements.  (Last year’s Summer Fest brought teens and young adults together around a campfire to enjoy s’mores, conversation, and acoustic guitar played by a young adult, while parents attended a mini-support group nearby; children and families were free to explore the farm.)

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has a website with science-based information on mental health designed to educate the public on mental health issues.

Down Syndrome Support

The Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia operates a list serve and has an extensive website. Visit the Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia website or contact Heather Trammel for additional information at 703-621-7129.  To subscribe to the email list send a message to