Support, Networking, and Meet Up Groups

Whether a sibling, a parent, a family member, or a friend, you can gather with others who understand the unique challenges of having a loved one with a disability.


Sibshops offers an opportunity for brothers and sisters of children with intellectual disabilities to get peer support and education within a recreational context. The program will include a fun mix of information, games, activities, and discussion. For more information, contact Julie Thompkins, Family Navigator at 314-817-2269.

Caregivers of Older Adults

Primary caregivers of older adults may feel an urgency to plan for the future. Conversation includes ensuring a good life for your family members after you’re gone, as well as sharing stories, resources, and problem solving. For more information, contact Ann Mangelsdorf at 314-817-2275.


CONNECT is a program at the St. Louis Arc that empowers individuals to lead an independent life using individualized and community supports. This program is ideal for adults interested in moving out on their own and needing minimal support in order to be successful.  For the next meetup dates and to RSVP,  join our Meetup group. For more information, please contact Beth Moeller, Director of Community Living at 314-817-2271.


Providing individual and group counseling to teenagers, adults, and their families. For more information, please contact Barbara Stewart, Individual and Family Counselor.

Dads Group

Get together in an informal setting with other dads who understand the unique challenges of raising a child with a disability. Locations and time vary. For more information, please contact Mark Keeley, President and CEO, at 314-817-2280.

Families of Kids 5 and Under Support Group

Caregivers of children with a disability or delay ages 0 – 5 years old have an opportunity to connect with other parents/caregivers to share resource ideas and support. The group is utilizing Charting the LifeCourse principles and tools each month. For more information or to register and receive the Zoom link for this meeting, please contact  Julie Thompkins or 314-817-2269.

JOYZEN Alumni Group

This group is reserved for any family member who has completed a Joyzen Intensive class. Joyzen graduates will work with Liz Fuchs and members of the St. Louis Arc Family Supports team to share parenting successes and struggles, and apply Joyzen techniques as we problem solve together. For the next meetup dates and to RSVP,  join our Meetup group. For more information, contact Sharon Spurlock, Director of Family Supports at 314-817-2222.

JOYZEN Parent Powerhouse Workshops

Parenting strategies and mindsets need to adapt if you want your child to be able to maximize their capacity for independence. JOYZEN uses experiential learning, easily adaptable skills, and emotional intelligence to create community and a collaborative environment between parents, young adults, and support staff. This workshop is designed for families with children with I/DD ages 13-30.  For more information, contact Sharon Spurlock, Director of Family Supports at 314-817-2222.

Launch Family Support Group

Launch is for families and young adults who are preparing to take the next steps towards their future. The group provides opportunities to share concerns, ideas, and resources to assist young adults as they graduate from school to transition services, and then into a successful life in the community. Each month, we focus on one key area of a successful life (community living, health, social, etc.) and provide space for learning and problem solving with parents and young adults working separately and then coming together to share their experiences. For the next meetup dates and to RSVP,  join our Meetup group. For more information, contact Sharon Spurlock, Director of Family Supports at 314-817-2222.

Parent Café

Parent Cafés are parent led, guided conversations about topics that are relevant to your family and your life. You will learn from others’ experiences while they learn from yours. Bring the kids – childcare/respite care is always FREE for this event but prior registration is required. For location information and to RSVP, contact Brianne Smith or 314-817-2216 and indicate if you will need childcare.

Parents of Children who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices

Meet other parents of children who use Augmentative and Alternative (AAC) devices to communicate. Share tips and strategies for using AAC at home. Chat about barriers and successes using AAC at home. This parent support group is for caregivers only, not for children. For more information, contact Julie Thompkins or 314-817-2269.

St. Louis Self-Advocates

The St. Louis Self-Advocates are St. Louis area youth seeking to empower each other, to increase awareness about disability-related issues, and improve our community. Our members are St. Louis area residents between the ages of 14 and 29 who have a diagnosed disability. The group’s committees reflect the goals and vision of the group including advocacy, quality, morale, and marketing. The group meets every Thursday from 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. For more information or to sign up, email Madeline Webster.


Unless otherwise noted, all groups meet at the St. Louis Arc Centene Family Center located at 1177 N. Warson Road, St. Louis, MO 63132. Advance registration is required.

View the 2021 Fall Leisure Times or download a PDF version for a complete schedule of activities or visit the online registration page.