About SPARK

  • Special Education Parents Accessing Resources and Knowledge

    SPARK

    Welcome Parents to SPARK!

    (Special Education Parents Accessing Resources and Knowledge)

    SPARK meetings are designed to give parents information to help them in their current and future steps of the journey of parenting children with unique needs. As parents, we guide and make decisions for our children and their development. The task can be overwhelming and we want nothing more than to be as informed as we can be when we set the course we believe our child should take. The SPARK committee and District 15 are grateful to have you and desire to serve you such that your journey is successful!

    At SPARK we realize the importance of providing:

    • Relevant programs and resources related to special education
    • Opportunities to network, receive support and help
    • Connections for parents with outside sources

    The above are primarily accomplished at the district level through evening programs with outside speakers. We have SPARK representatives at each school who are a local contact and resource to the individual schools. We also have an online support group. If you would like to subscribe to this group, send a request to https://www.facebook.com/groups/1688046171274344/.

    SPARK will be meeting monthly on Mondays from 7-8:30 pm for the 2022-23 school year. Please download our flyer (or see below) for the meeting dates and topics. Our meetings will take place virtually. Please join our Facebook group referenced above for the most up-to-date information on meeting locations, virtual links, and other changes.

    If you would like to be contacted by or connected with SPARK, contact Orenza Jaske at ojaske@gmail.com.

    SPARK is a Northwest Suburban Council of PTA/PTSA committee serving families of children with special needs in Community Consolidated School District 15 and beyond. SPARK is proud to be in partnership with PTA!

SPARK 2022-23

  • SPARK Program Calendar 2022-2023 School Year

    Monday, September 19, 2022: Help with Emotional Regulation

    Meribeth Cassidy, MS OTR/L, Owner of Step Forward Therapy in Rolling Meadows, will be presenting. Are certain behaviors in your child making you feel frustrated, angry, helpless or overwhelmed? Do you resort to yelling, punishments or rewards more often than you’d like? What if you could learn to solve problems with your kids collaboratively? Meribeth will be referring to Dr. Ross Greene’s work (livesinthebalance.org) during her talk. Dr. Greene believes “Kids do well if they can.” Meribeth will explore with us why kids exhibit challenging behaviors, why traditional behavior management strategies are not always effective for many kids, and how to solve problems collaboratively and teach your child the skills he or she is lacking. Dr. Greene’s Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) model promotes working with children to solve the problems that precipitate explosive episodes and teaching kids the skills they lack.

    Monday, October 24, 2022: Autistic Adult Panel

    Join SPARK and a panel of Autistic Adults to hear about their perspective of growing up Autistic. What was helpful? What was not helpful? What should parents and professionals know about their Autistic children, students and clients? Please submit questions in advance to ojaske@gmail.com by October 14, 2022. 

    Monday, November 28, 2022: Navigating the Illinois Disability System

    Robert H. Farley, Jr., Ltd., Attorney at Law, will be joining us to help guide us through the Illinois Disability System. Topics to be covered will include: Obtaining Funding for Disability Services; Special Needs Trusts;
    Guardianship and SSI Benefits. Please obtain a copy of Mr. Farley’s free book, "How to Navigate the Illinois Disability System" which is available on his website on the main page at www.farley1.com as he will be referring to the materials in the book during our meeting.

    Monday, January 23, 2023: Dyslexia: What Every Parent Needs to Know 

    Beverley Johns, MS from the Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois will present. This session will cover what dyslexia is, why it is important to get a good evaluation, what services are needed, and practical strategies. 

    Monday, February 27, 2023: Accommodations, Goals & Parent-Input Statements in the IEP 

    Wanda Vicente-Malone is a special needs Mom and bilingual IEP Coach/Advocate. IEPs can feel overwhelming and confusing. Wanda will be help us prepare for the IEP journey. She will break down what Accommodations and Goals are and how to improve the IEP process. She will also discuss the importance of Parent-Input Statements and how they are the key to making you an equal part of the IEP team.

    Monday, March 20, 2023: ADHD Challenges in School

    Nicole Schlecter, The IEP Mom and educational advocate, will be with us again. Many times, schools are unsure how to support children with ADHD. These students are labeled a behavior problem. They are disorganized, can’t find things and sometimes complete homework but don't turn it in. They are often seen as day dreamers, lazy, unfocused and not trying... BUT it’s not true. Join us as Nicole talks about IEPs specific to ADHD students: what to include, how to support them and how to get your IEP team on board.

    Monday, April 17, 2023: Interoception, Communication & Self-Advocacy**Special Time: 6-7:30 pm**

    Interoception is a sense that allows us to feel sensations from the inside of our bodies. Interoception provides a connection between the mind and the body. Essentially, your body feels a certain way, and your brain uses that information to help you identify what feeling you are experiencing. Chloe Rothschild, Speaker and Autism Self-Advocate, will join us to discuss Interoception, Communication and Self-Advocacy from her unique perspective.

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SPARK Calendar

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