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 a Facebook online support group to share resources and offer encouragement.  If you would like to join this group, send a request to

SPARK will be meeting monthly for the 2019-2020 school year. Our meetings will take place in the District Board Room (unless noted otherwise) at:

Walter R. Sundling Junior High School 
1100 N. Smith Street, Palatine, IL 60067
7:00 – 8:30 pm

The programs can also be found on the District 15 website:   
If you would like to be contacted by or connected with SPARK, contact:
Orenza Jaske at
SPARK is a Northwest Suburban Council of PTA 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 Program Calendar , 2019-2020 School Year

Monday, September 23rd: How to Navigate 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. Copies of “How to Navigate the Illinois Disability System” will be provided to everyone who attends.

Monday, October 21st: Understanding What’s Under the Umbrella: A Neuropsychological Approach to ADHD  

Dr. Matthew Landstrom, PsyD, Clinical Neuropsychologist from Landstrom Center in Schaumburg will present on ADHD from a neuropsychological perspective. ADHD encompasses many different behavioral, cognitive, and emotional symptoms. This presentation will focus on ADHD as a disorder of self-regulation that involves a complex interaction of brain systems.

Monday, November 18th:  Transitioning to Kindergarten, Jr. High, and High School

School and District representatives will be available to review and answer questions regarding the transition process from preschool to Kindergarten, Elementary School to Junior High and Junior High to High School. If you have a child who will be transitioning in the next year or two, this meeting will be beneficial to you.

Monday, January 27th:  The Stress Free IEP                      

Amy Slutzky, MA, LPC, NCC from LiveNLearn Consulting in Buffalo Grove will present on how to have a stress free IEP. She will help parents navigate the IEP/504 system. She will also give strategies to help parents discover easy, practical and effective ways to feel strong and empowered.

Monday, February 24th: Benefits of Music Therapy                          

Loren Goodman, MA, MT-BC, from Prospect Music Therapy in Mount Prospect will present. Music therapy can be beneficial to children working on social, emotional, academic, communication, physical and sensory goals. Through this presentation, attendees will learn how music’s effects on the body and brain to increase learning and have the opportunity to experience a few common music therapy interventions.

Monday, March 16th: Neurological Foundations: Assessment & Treatment

Dr. Suzanne Joseph, Doctor of Physical Therapy from Hands On Health Manual & Physical Therapy Services, LLC, offices in Naperville and Inverness, will join us. New research demonstrates the strong ability the nervous system has at any age to heal and further develop.  Research also supports the need for specific therapies that mimic the way we originally learned. This presentation will show techniques to assist the nervous system to advance no matter what the challenge or development stage.  

Monday, April 20th: What About Me? Siblings of Children with Disabilities                             

Julie Fanning LCSW from Holding Hope Services in West Dundee will be joining us again to discuss this very important but often overlooked topic. Being a sibling of a child with disability can be challenging. There are positives and negatives. Julie will discuss how to support siblings and resources available to assist them.