• Special Education Parents Accessing Resources and Knowledge


    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 2021-22 school year. Please download our flyer (English / Spanish) (or see below) for the meeting dates and topics. Our meetings will take place virtually.

    Due to COVID-19, all meetings will take place virtually. Please join our Facebook group referenced above the 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 Benefits of Sensory Play

  • SPARK Program Calendar 2021-2022 School Year

    Monday, September 20, 2021: IEP 101

    IEPs can feel overwhelming and confusing, but they don't have to be! Join Nicole Schlechter, The IEP Mom and educational advocate as she breaks down the IEP for you. Whether you are a seasoned IEP parent or a newbie, you will leave this workshop with a better understanding of how to read the IEP and what your role is at each part. Nicole Schlechter is an IEP parent and former educator who supports families through the special education experience.

    Monday, October 25, 2021: Executive Functioning Skills

    Don Kush, LCSW, CADC, from Behavioral Health & Wellness (offices in Barrington, Palatine, & Lake Zurich) will be presenting. Executive function refers to the operations of the brain that control and facilitate the execution of the skills and behaviors required to achieve chosen goals. This set of processes neurologically assists with the management of resources to complete predetermined tasks. Mr. Kush will present an overview of what Executive Functioning is and what it looks like when there is a deficit in these skills. He will also be providing resources and ideas for parents who think their child has deficits in these skills.

    Monday, November 29, 2021: Overview of the World of Transition

    Lyndsay Palach Shelton, Transition Specialist from FUTURE SLTP in Inverness will join us to discuss transition. Starting at age 14.5 in Illinois, a transition plan drives the IEP and addresses the areas of post-secondary education/training, employment, and independent living. While this chapter may seem a bit down the road, there are plenty of beneficial and age-appropriate transition skills families can address prior to high school.

    Monday, January 24, 2022: Anxiety in Kids & Adolescents

    Christopher Eskridge, LPC of Jessica A. Sweet Therapy Services in Schaumburg will be our guest. Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions. They affect people of all ages — adults, children, and teens. During this presentation, Chris will explain the different types of anxiety disorders, situations that could lead someone to experience anxiety disorder symptoms, and strategies on how parents can help manage the impact of anxiety on kids and adolescents.

    Monday, February 28, 2022: SOS/Eating Issues

    Brenda Mullan Eberline, MS CCC-SLP/L and Kimberly Dierks Chung, MS CCC-SLP/L, District 15 speech and language pathologists will be presenting. The discussion will be based on Dr. Kay Toomey’s work (SOS Approach - SOS Approach to Feeding) and will focus on distinguishing the difference between "picky eaters and problem feeders" and developing healthy relationships with food. The objectives will aim at addressing why children do not eat, the skills necessary for eating/feeding and three strategies to improve your child's eating and mealtime participation.

    Monday, March 28, 2022: Self-Care for Parents

    Ashley Kangail, LCSW from In2great Pediatric Therapy in Buffalo Grove will share a presentation that defines self-care for parents, barriers to self-care, learning how to take of yourself as a habit, and the benefits of self-care. Together she will explore with you the following questions: 1) Is there such a thing as “parent burn out?” 2) How often should we engage in some sort of self-care? 3) What if I simply don’t have time for self-care?

    Monday, April 25, 2022: The Benefits of Sensory Play

    Kam Wyruchowski, MOT, OTR/L, Co-Owner of Kids Place Therapy Services in Hoffman Estates will be our guest. From birth, children use their senses to explore and try to make sense of the world around them. Sensory play supports development of many skills including fine and gross motor skills, language development, social interactions, cognition and problem-solving skills. Come join us in learning about the benefits of "Sensory Play."


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