Our Services

Parent support group dinners and meetings
At mochaa, we provide a comfortable setting for parents of children on the autism spectrum, as well as parents of children with any other special needs, to interact and share questions, feelings, successes, information, concerns, problems, and sometimes socially awkward topics in regards to parenting and caring for special needs children.  Parents are more comfortable in our informal support group setting, as many of us have been members of more formal support groups and found them lacking in the camaraderie and comfort that we were seeking in order to be able to easily share some of our concerns.

We meet in houses or restaurants, and meet on a monthly basis. We have met at least once per month since 2009. We have themed dinners sometimes, encouraging parents who are stressed and anxious to be less so-inviting them to wear pajamas, bring special treats, and bring resources to share.  Our dinners are a safe place where parents can feel supported, and feel that it is OK to laugh, or cry, especially when dealing with highly stressful special needs children's issues.  Many parents are also dealing with relationship concerns, financial constraints, and interpersonal issues, with many parents also facing depression and anxiety.

Studies show that support groups in many cases are more successful than drugs and/or therapy. mochaa provides any special need parent with a safe place to share, and a group of people to access who are able to support them, on a monthly basis. mochaa directors set up all dinners, and keep a close watch on the needs of the parents as to where the dinners will be held.  directors ensure that a dinner occurs at least once per month. 

Google group online discussion group
Also in place since 2009, our discussion group is a way that mochaa members can access a large pool of people when they have questions or problems or just need to share, and can do so via email.  The group has over 400 members, and we are almost all located right here in the bay area.  Members are able to ask questions about specific school districts, services availability, benefits access, eligibility issues, concerns about their children-for example: behavior, health, academic, social concerns, etc.  We share ideas and thoughts and experiences, as well as offering links to helpful resources, forms, available services, local special education related activities and information.

Navigation of the special education system is arduous and time consuming, and parents are able to offer tips and advice, and share their experiences.  Parents can also exchange contact emails, and we have seen many wonderful friendships blossom between both parents, and kids, from having this sort of local grouping of special needs families.

Parents with older children who have already experienced much of the journey of parenting a special needs child are able to share their experiences with new parents, and are able to mentor them.  Mochaa board members manage the group, add new members, and moderate all postings and activities to make sure that they are helpful, kind and appropriate for all families.  Mochaa parents are encouraged to reach out to other familes.

Facebook  groups
More recently we added a parent facebook group and a group for our teen/young adult social group to our online offerings. This provides members with another environment in which to post comments and questions, but also many find it easier to use for tracking our events, rsvp'ing, sharing photos from events, or sharing news items.

Yoga for moms
Yoga in a private home setting, tailored to our unique needs! Our aches of the week addressed, in a quiet and private area. Newcomers always welcome, no prior yoga experience necessary. 10$drop in donation requested but not required, and first visit is free. Every Thursday 10am, please RSVP so we can notify you of any schedule changes or if class is cancelled!

Teen/young adult social groups
Many people with autism and asperger's syndrome have difficulty with social interaction.  Social skills development is one of the main areas of need for children/teens/young adults on the autism spectrum.  As they reach middle and high school age, these interactions typically become even more difficult. special needs children are often bullied, and feel that they have no friends and that they cannot participate in social activities that are designed for typical children, or those that neuro-typical children engage in as a normal part of their development. 

Our  social group allows members to participate in activities just like their typical peers, such as pool parties, attending movies, going bowling and just hanging out with friends.  Also, mochaa provides a safe, facilitated environment for the older child with special needs to increase their independence by participating in these activities with limited parent involvement or assistance. 

Participants are taught and then encouraged to independently use money, use a cell phone and make decisions during these activities. This group has been set up for teen/young adults who are verbal, want to make friends and are on the higher functioning end of the spectrum. This group has been extremely successful, with these kids feeling empowered and successful, and feeling like they have friends for the first time.  several of the teens who participate have successfully set up additional social outings outside of teen group-which is proof positive that they are getting the skills that they so desperately need.  They are learning the skills needed to be more successful socially, while also giving their parents a break from caring for them for a couple of hours. Mochaa directors provide supervision for the teens, and assistance as needed while at the same time encouraging independence wherever possible. 

Wish we had a group that fit your child? We want to help our members create services that work for them. We are happy to talk about what is needed to set up a social group - to help you canvas for hosts, members, to set up communication (email groups), calendars, etc. it's not hard!