Autism Parents and Family Support Group in Rhode Island

Programs for Children

Family Services

Our Mission

The Groden Center Family Services Department strives to provide parents with the latest information and state of the art strategies to assist in the care, and facilitate the development of their children. By fostering the consistency of teaching strategies and interventions across all environments, opportunities for learning are expanded and both parents and professionals benefit from the mutual sharing of knowledge and expertise.

The family members of those individuals involved in The Groden Center programs all receive services through the Family Services Department. Individuals from other programs can also contract for services that can be provided at The Groden Center, in schools, homes, workplaces, and community settings.

Range of Family Services

The Center's Family Services Department provides a wide array of services by a team of professionals including Behavioral Specialists, Clinical Social Workers and Educators. The following services are offered:

  • Introductory behavioral development workshops
  • Informational workshops
  • Family support groups
  • Individual and family counseling
  • Sibling programs
  • Diagnostic and program planning meetings
  • Newsletters
  • Home visits and home program development
  • Center visits for observation and training
  • Parent education
  • Relaxation and stress management training
  • Respite services
  • Family library
Referral Process

A family may be referred to the Family Services Program by Groden Center staff or by inquiring on their own. Families are welcome to visit the Center to discuss needed services and meet with Family Services staff. For families not directly connected to The Groden Center, state and local agencies and families can make referrals directly to the Center's Community Support Services (CSS) or The Family Services departments.

When referral information that includes recent records is received, a meeting will be scheduled with the family and other interested agencies to determine the service needs of the family. Families are welcome to visit the Center to discuss needed services and meet with Family Services staff.


Resource Manual

A resource manual has been compiled based upon input from families and professionals. The manual lists individuals, agencies and activities that may provide useful information for families.

The Resource Manual is comprised of the following PDFs:

Autism Society of America, Rhode Island Chapter

About Families CEDARR Center

Intake: 401-365-6855


203 Concord Street, Suite 335

Pawtucket, RI 02860


1 Cumberland Street, 4th Floor

Woonsocket, RI 02895


Parent Support Network of Rhode Island

1395 Atwood Avenu - Suite 114

Johnston, RI 02919

Phone: 401-467-6855

FAX: 401-467-6903

If you are interested in working as a direct support professional (PersonalChoice, PASS or Respite) on a part-time or full-time basis, download the following PDF from the Rhode Island Department of Human Services about Rewarding Work. You can also visit to complete an application.

The Relaxation Station

The Children's Hospital of Michigan has developed a new innovative video to help children relax. The Relaxation Station combines spectacular scenes of wildlife, gentle music and simple exercises in relaxation to teach children the basic techniques of breathing, imagination and meditation.

Dr. June Groden reviewed the video and had the following to say: "What a lovely program. As you know, much of my work focuses on reducing stress and anxiety. I am using The Relaxation Station to supplement the work that I do in relaxation and self-control with children and adults. It can be used in classrooms, at home, and in treatment programs for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. It's so soothing and beautiful. Many, many thanks."

You can learn more about The Relaxation Station by visiting their web site.


MDJunction is an online community of family members and friends dedicated to dealing with Autism, together -

Our Staff

The Family Services Department strives to provide comprehensive services to the families of children enrolled at the Groden Center. Although any Family Service staff can assist you in reaching the person best able to help in a given situation, the following list offers a general guideline:

Robin Ringer, Day Program Director & Family Services Director

Contact Ms. Ringer, at extension 1026, regarding in-home programming, parent education, Parents & Friends Association, staff training, sibling concerns, support services and funding issues, and any general questions not addressed elsewhere.

Diann Moore, Family Services Coordinator

Contact Ms. Moore, at extension 1102, for in-home services, coordination between home and school, IEP Family Objectives.

Ann Millier, Social Services Coordinator

Contact Miller, at extension 1104, for in home support, referrals to community agencies, questions regarding funding sources, medicaid, SSI, psychiatric and counseling services.

Demi Caris, Associate Director of Vocational & Transition Services

Contact Ms. Caris, at extension 1050, coordinates all aspects of the transition process to adult services, beginning at age 14. Contact Demi with issues related to guardianship, out of home living arrangements, referrals to DDD and funding levels and adult service provider options.

Dana Hajj, Respite Supervisor

Call Ms Hajj, at 401-615-2600, extension 1520, for all questions related to respite, including how to access the system, funding sources, scheduling respite, referring providers, and more.

Lisa Rego, Parent Liaison

Contact Ms. Rego, at extension 1111 for information regarding parent support, advocacy, the IEP process and guidance, transition to residential placement and the Parents and Friends Association.