Child Counseling & Family Services

(Individual, social groups and family support services currently available in Burr Ridge, Schaumburg and Morton Grove.)

BY YOUR SIDE’s professional social and emotional team offers a safe place for children with Autism and related mental health disorders to freely express themselves. Our mission is to provide compassionate care to the family by supporting them with individual, group and family services. Using cognitive, social, and behavioral interventions, we will work together to effectively build skills that will improve overall life wellness.

Individual Counseling Services

(CBT, Play Therapy, Social and Emotional Regulation)

Our counseling team aims to support children and teens diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related mental health diagnosis (ADHD, Anxiety Disorders). This service is for individuals and siblings that need help addressing specific social and emotional regulation concerns or having difficulty adjusting to life transitions.

Individual sessions are ideal for children and teens with concerns that are best addressed in a one-on-one environment. Counseling can help clients by using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), play based therapy and other creative interventions to be able to learn effective ways of coping with negative thoughts and strong feelings, be able to express themselves, and foster confidence in their daily lives.

Sibling sessions are provided to family members who need assistance with adjusting to their sibling’s diagnosis or other family concerns. We have extensive experience in helping siblings to be able to work through family changes that cause negative behaviors, anxiety, and transition issues. Using cognitive, social, and behavioral interventions, individuals diagnosed on the spectrum and their siblings can learn to cope with related issues such as:

Worries, anxiety

Social difficulties

Mood concerns, such as sadness, anger, and depression

Feelings of loneliness and isolation

Self-esteem and confidence building

Relationship and peer concerns


Grief and loss

Adjusting to transitions

School related issues, such as bullying and teasing 

Social Groups

Social Skills Groups

Social skills groups are intended for children and teens that have adequate language skills but have difficulty navigating through conversations and social interactions. It addresses a variety of subjects including social anxiety, conversations agility, verbal and non-verbal responses and negotiating with peers. Social group services are provided by a BCBA, LPC, and/or Speech Language pathologist with expertise in the area of social reciprocity, positive social behaviors, emotional regulation and communication skills.

Coping Skills Groups

Coping skills group focus on teaching coping strategies to children on the spectrum using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) strategies to learn, practice, and discuss successful coping strategies for strong emotions, such as anger and worry. CBT is evidence based an intervention that builds a set of skills to be aware of one’s thoughts and emotions, to identify situation and thought triggers influence emotions, and improve feelings by changing dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors.

BYS hosts Sibshops

Sibshops provides peer support and information in a lively, recreational setting. They are action packed 3-hour workshops that celebrate the many contributions made by brothers and sisters of kids with special needs. They’re open to all kids (even if family is not attending BYS) between the ages of 8 – 13, who is a sibling of a brother or sister with a developmental or learning disorder.

Family Support Services

Family support services help support and guide the whole family in
navigating the autism diagnosis and challenging family interactions.

Parent Panels

BY YOUR SIDE is committed to offering support and resources for parents who are raising a child with special needs. BYS believes parents need a voice and we provide opportunities to give parents a chance to be heard or simply to able to listen to others who are experiencing the same life challenges.

BY YOUR SIDE Parent Panels are round-table type discussions where parents gather to discuss specific topics, general ideas, or just a chance to get out and socialize with others.

Previous topics: How to navigate school I.E.P.s, Tips for BCBA’s on best practice, parents share success stories

BYS Podcasts

The BY YOUR SIDE Podcast creates content for those seeking simple solutions to improve their life and the lives of their children. We do this by recording honest conversations with parents, therapists, and other experts in their field discussing best practices to raising healthy children.

The BY YOUR SIDE Podcast: Free audio interviews played through your smart phone or streamed from your computer.

Family Outreach Events

BYS staff and parents organize or find community events designed to create a sensory friendly environment and provide staff support.

Past events: family paint nights, family dances, visits to museums, movie nights, many more!

Parent Workshops

Parent educational workshops provide parents and family members with information to understand emotional and social topics related to the Autism Spectrum diagnosis. Workshop topics can include, but not limited to:

Understanding the Autism diagnosis

Basic Behavior Management for Parents

Learning about Social Thinking ®; Super Flex, Zones of Regulation

The impact of Anxiety in Autism

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“My son finally has confidence to approach other children and ask if they want to play with him. It took a lot for him to get to that point. I am so proud of him!”
Proud BYS Parent