Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA


New and Exciting Things Are Happening in 2014/2015

We are re-organizing our website so we can share more school and community resources and events.

There will be continuous updates on this Website!

The Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA (IPSN PTA) is committed to helping every child with special needs in our community succeed and reach their full potential.


We are a group of parents and caregivers who have or work with children with special needs in Indian Prairie School District 204, which serves children from the communities of Aurora, Bolingbrook, Plainfield, and Naperville. Our members have children varying in age, abilities and educational placements within and outside of the District's schools.


"Special Needs" is a very broad term that covers a staggering array of diagnoses. A child with special needs is any student who needs additional support, accommodations, and/or intervention in order to be successful in their social and learning environment.
Children may have mild learning disabilities or profound cognitive impairment; food allergies or terminal illness; developmental delays; occasional panic attacks or serious psychiatric problems.


We welcome parents, educators, administrators and community members.
Membership and meetings are open to anyone who is interested in our cause.



Is to connect and support parents and care givers of children with special needs from ages 3 to 21. We do this by…

  • Sharing information about resources in our community.
  • Connecting parents, educators and administrators to increase understanding and awareness of special needs issues.
  • Educating parents and others to increase awareness of and gain support for children with special needs in our community.
  • Advocating for the academic and social-emotional education of students with special needs, ensuring every student is able to reach their full potential.
  • Providing resources and education for parents regarding services, policies and procedures for children with special needs.
  • Joining with other advocacy groups to promote system-wide changes that can benefit all students in Indian Prairie and across Illinois.



When you join the IPSN PTA you are joining a community of parents and teachers who work together to enrich the learning environment and provide support to students and their families. Funding goes toward supporting advocacy, information sharing, and Special Education training.


Membership is only $10 per school year.
Sign up today!

  • Get Connected. There’s no better way to know what’s happening in your community, school and school district.
  • Discover Great Resources. PTA provides information about special education, District 204 and a variety of different resources in our community. Resources vary from government, legal, doctors, therapists, sports and recreations. We have speakers on relevant topics, a yearly resource fair, our website and more.
  • Tap into a Network. PTA events are opportunities to meet other parents and teachers, building rapport and discussing issues. You can share ideas, concerns, and experiences. You receive a member directory that allows you to connect with other District 204 parents.
  • Watch Yourself Grow. By volunteering with your PTA, you put your skills and hobbies to use for a noble cause—your child and all children in the community.
  • Speak Up. PTA is an outlet for you to more effectively suggest change at your child’s school, school district and community. By getting involved you’ll be part of the solution.
  • Discounts. As a member, you get discounts and offers from providers and sponsors. []


BOARD 2014-2015

  • President: Penny Boyle
  • 1st Vice President: Julie Parker
  • 2nd Vice President: Kathy Panagopoulos
  • Treasurer: Shobha Kumarapuram
  • Recording Secretary: Nanette Cote
  • Corresponding Secretary: Trudy Sanchez
  • Special Needs Chairperson: Michele Linden
  • Special Resource Fair Chairperson: Amie Crouse

We can be contacted at



The IPSN PTA’s core is our volunteers. The more help we can get the more amazing things we can offer our members.


Please consider signing up! Click the Volunteer tab at the top of this page for more info.








The Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA meets at the Crouse Education Center (CEC) 780 Shoreline Drive, Aurora, IL 60504 in Board Room B6 unless otherwise noted.


UPDATED! Wednesday, January 28, 2015
7 p.m. @ Fox Valley Institute
640 N. River Road, Naperville, 2nd floor conference room
Two presentations, sponsored by Fox Valley Institute, a Naperville-based provider of several therapy services, that bring together the concepts of self-care for the caregiver and dealing with the heaviness of isolation:


Thursday, February 26, 2015

7:00 PM @ TBA

BUNCO Night (Adults Only)


Thursday, March 12, 2015

7:00 PM @ CEC 2nd Floor Board Room B6

General Meeting 7-7:30pm

7:30pm Topic: Legal Information for Special Needs Families


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Time and Place TBA

Earth Day Family Event


Thursday, May 14, 2015

7:00 PM @ CEC 2nd Floor Board Room B6

General Meeting 7-7:30pm

7:30pm Topic: PTA Election/Pub Night


* - Meeting dates, times and locations are subject to change. Members will be notified via email of any changes, and also updated on our website.


Special Needs Liaisons (SNL)


Our Special Need Liaisons are very important to us; they are our connection to our schools. Our wonderful volunteers work hard to promote and get information out to the school staff, teachers and school PTAs.


It is the SN PTA’s wish to have as many of the schools represented as possible. We still have several schools that do not have an SNL (see list below). If you see your school listed as one that does not have an SNL, consider becoming one for your school. If you would like to find out more about the SNL program or sign up to be one at your school; please contact IPSN PTA SNL Chairperson Michele Linden at


SNL Volunteer Description

  • Volunteer time about 1-2 hrs./month.
  • Be a member of the IPSN PTA
  • Distribute and forward information (in list-serve or newsletter format) to home school
  • Work with the School PTA and school to add IPSN info on website and in newsletters.
  • Introduce yourself and the IPSN PTA, in person or e-mail, to Principal, Special Needs team, including social workers and speech/OT staff.


In addition to the above, please consider these suggestions to promote the IPSN PTA:

  • Go to the home school PTA meetings and talk about the upcoming events for the IPSN PTA (2-3min)
  • Work with SN teaching staff to distribute information to SN families; hand out/e-mail (i.e. Parent/Teacher conference etc.)
  • Put up IPSN PTA posters (per school guidelines)
  • Create your own personal touch to create awareness of IPSN PTA


SNL Chair Michele Linden
SNL Newsletter TBA TBA
Prairie Children Preschool IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Brookdale Elementary School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Brooks Elementary School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Builta Elementary School Tamera Anderson
Clow Elementary School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Cowlishaw Elementary School Deb Loehrke
Fry Elementary School Julie Parker
Georgetown Elementary School Kris Harvey
Gombert Elementary School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Graham Elementary School Koel Dalta
Kendall Elementary School Jen May (TEMP)
Longwood Elementary School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
McCarty Elementary School Annette Heneghan
Owen Elementary School Mary Frances Koyl
Patterson Elementary School Jyoti Limaye
Peterson Elementary School Kathy Dudero
Spring Brook Elementary School Beth Farland
Steck Elementary School Terry Behm
Watts Elementary School Angela Karellas
Welch Elementary School Kristi Cage
White Eagle Elementary School Shobha Kumarapuram
Young Elementary School Michele Linden
Crone Middle School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Fischer Middle School Bobbie roth
Granger Middle School Michele Linden
Gregory Middle School Amy Skarr
Hill Middle School Karyn Borden
Scullen Middle School Padmini Sriman
Still Middle School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Indian Plains High School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Metea Valley High School Penny Boyle
Neuqua Valley High School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Waubonsie Valley High School Janine McDonough (TEMP)
STEPS - Transition Program IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)


To sign up or let us know of your interest in volunteering for IPSN, please contact us via the following form:


Thank you!


Special Needs Liaisons and Chairperson: 

Communicate between your home school PTA and IPSN PTA to create awareness and help promote our PTA’s speakers/meetings, events and relay membership information through staff for parents and caregivers. 


Contact: Michele Linden at


We have some great fundraisers that help fund many of our great events and programs including the Teacher Grant program. In addition to becoming an IPSN PTA member, we hope that you will participate in some of our fundraisers. Thank you for participating in our fundraisers!


Dominick’s eScrip program

Please register your Dominick’s Fresh Values Card online today!  IPSN PTA will receive up to 4% of your purchases throughout the year if you register your card with IPSN PTA and use it at the checkout. Be sure to share this link with your friends and relatives that shop at Dominick’s and have them sign up their card as well!

  • Visit
  • Click on “About the Program”
  • Click on “Sign Up”
  • Under Group Name, enter: Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA (use entire name)
  • Group Number: 500017360
  • Shop at Dominicks and present your Fresh Values card at check out!


Restaurant Benefit Days

  • Check back for information on upcoming restaurant benefit fundraisers

 Please consider registering with before you do any online shopping and help the IPSN PTA raise some funds.


How iGive Works:

  • GO TO
  • SELECT your favorite cause (“Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA”).
  • REGISTER with and SEARCH &/or SHOP brand name online stores through the Mall.  Just searching for stores/item generates funds and if you make a purchase a percentage is donated to IPSN PTA.  SAVE money with exclusive coupons/free shipping deals.  Plus, when you shop within 45 days of registering donates an extra $5 to IPSN PTA!
  • There are over 700 vendors to shop from including many well known stores like Kohl’s, Meijer, Gap, AMAZON.Com, Avon and so many more!
  • Search the web through (a search engine powered by iGive!), using the search engine will raise a penny or more for my cause every time it is used.  you don’t even have to purchase anything to be raising money


If you have any questions, comments or ideas for fundraising, please contact Michele Linden, 1st VP, IPSN PTA at or 630-585-9177.


2014-2015 IPSN PTA Board


Contact us at


Penny Boyle - President

My daughter, Sophie, is a junior at Metea Valley HS. Sophie was born in Sweden and we moved to Naperville in 2003 when Sophie started kindergarten. Sophie has been diagnosed with Receptive & Expressive language disorder, ADD, Auditory-processing disorder and anxiety. I grew up in Sweden and my husband, Mike, is from the Southside of Chicago. I work full-time at Centrad Healthcare LLC here in Naperville.


“IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD” When it comes to kids with special needs I believe that quote is true. I have come to realize that almost everything I know about resources for my daughter I have received from friends, acquaintances and strangers with disabled family members.


My goal as IPSN PTA President is to gather and share resources, about school and community, which will help families, caregivers and students. I have a great team and I’m confident we will have a great year.



Julie Parker - 1st Vice President

My name is Julie Parker. I have two children who have special needs. One was diagnosed with high functioning autism and the other was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental delay not otherwise specified). Having gone through all the therapies (OT, PT, speech, social development, ABA, vision, psychological…) with my first one really helped prepare me to better address the issues faced by my second child. Through my experiences helping my own children, I can help others navigate the waters of the Special Needs Ocean.


During the 2014-2015 school year, my oldest will be a sophomore at Waubonsie and my youngest will be in the fourth grade. As they age, their issues morph from year to year. I hope in my position as First Vice President of the IPSNPTA to be able to support the organization so we don’t lose it as a resource for families dealing with special needs. Having the challenges we face on a regular basis with our children can leave us, as parents, feeling very isolated. I am also a single mom, so that isolation is even more keenly felt in my situation. For the wellbeing of the caretakers, it is imperative that we have peer support and resources when we need them.


In addition to serving on the SNPTA, I was the past President of the PTA for Fry Elementary. I also facilitate the Naperville Parents of Children with Asperger’s Support Group. I also participate in the District 204 2E (twice exceptional) support group, the Meetup Autism is Medical group, and the TACA Meetup group. Workwise, I am a Collaborative Divorce attorney. I help people navigate their divorce outside of the court system, in a kinder, gentler, team approach that emphasizes the best interests of the family.



Kathy Panagopoulos - 2nd Vice President

I have two young boys and live with my family in Naperville, a place I've called home for the past seven years. During this time, my oldest son has been diagnosed and re-diagnosed a few times, based on tests, observations, and evaluations. His quirkiness currently places him on the Autistic Spectrum, but as many parents know, labels are just one part of any treatment. This is the first time I've served on a PTA board, and feel grateful to give back in a meaningful way to a community that has helped my husband and me in both big and small ways to help our son.


In my previous life, I lived in Chicago and spent more than 10 years in corporate public relations.



Shobha Kumarapuram - Treasurer

I am a stay at home mom with 2 wonderful kids. My son is 12 years and is on the autism spectrum. My daughter is a typically developing 6 years old. I have a background in Electrical engineering and MBA and worked in the Telecomm industry before the world of autism took me by storm. I am currently pursuing my Masters in Special Education to enhance my knowledge to educate children with special needs.


I have been in and out of the PTA for a couple of years. This year I intend to increase my working knowledge of PTA by taking up the "money person" post, as I would call a Treasurer. I am very excited at this opportunity to be part of this new wonderful team. I hope to meet more people, share experiences and gain understanding as to ways and means support our children. I look forward to the coming year.



Nanette Cote Recording - Secretary

While I am originally from Rhode Island, the Midwest has felt like home to me for half of my life. In 1995, I relocated to Aurora, Illinois to work as a speech-language assistant in an elementary and middle school settings. I continued my work in the same district throughout graduate school and in 1998, I received my MA in Communication Disorders at Northern Illinois University. My practicums and clinical studies were completed in New England; however, several years later, I returned to live in the "Windy City" while working for a traveling clinical agency. After finishing my work commitment, I trekked back to Massachusetts and married my husband, Chris, then had our son, Drake.


In 2011, my husband's company relocated us to Naperville and I couldn't be happier with the opportunities that this area provides for our now eight-year-old son and my speech career! By 2012, I launched my private practice, Naperville Therapediatrics out of my home office. That same year, my speech-language blog: was recognized as one of the top 100 blogs of the year.


After having settled in both at home and work, I wanted to be sure to stay connected and current on the needs of children in my home district. When I saw that there were openings on the special needs PTA board, I thought that a position on this board would be the perfect opportunity for me to learn more about our school district and help make a difference for families. I hope to provide more educational opportunities about resources available in our district for children with special needs by proactively being part of a team that organizes professional presentations. I look forward to a successful year with a dynamic team!



Trudy Sanchez - Corresponding Secretary

My daughter, Carly, is in Kindergarten at Owen Elementary. Our home school is Gombert.


I joined the IPSN PTA board in hopes to meet and collaborate with other parents and caregivers with special needs children. My goal is to use my association with IPSN PTA to bring special needs awareness to my local community, as well as, gain their support in providing resources to our members. Having a special needs child brings unique challenges to life that many people do not understand. I find myself having to frequently explain things to people who have never experienced special needs parenting or care giving. Having a caregiver support group along with community support and resources is crucial to our special needs community. What better way to do that than through a group where everyone has similar wants and needs.


I look forward to advocating with you and for you.



Disclaimer: IPSN PTA and IPSD 204 does not endorse or recommend any particular organization, business or person. These links are provided only as a convenience to users. Parents/guardians are responsible for determining the potential merits of such providers.


Faith is a very important part of life for so many special needs families. 
Many Caregivers say they rely on their place of worship to teach their children about matters of faith and religion. We are very lucky to live in a place with a wide variety of faith communities that welcome special needs families with support for children and parents.  Below is a list of churches/temples and we hope you will add to it if you find a place of worship that is welcoming to your family.

At the bottom of the page we have attached some resources for families.
If you know of a church that has a great program, please let us know so we can add it to this site.


Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

1310 Shepherd Drive
Naperville, IL 60565
Phone: (630) 961-9220
FUSION is the Special Needs ministry at Good Shepherd. Our mission is to meet the needs of families touched by special needs and create a welcoming environment for all people to worship and grow their relationships with Jesus Christ.
What does FUSION offer to people with Special Needs?
1:1 Aides: We currently provide 1:1 aides for our SPARKS ministry at both the 9:30 and 11:00 worship times. This allows students to participate in SPARKS with their peers, and gives their parents an opportunity to worship. If your child would like to participate in SPARKS or any of our other programs, contact Heather Long to arrange for an aide
Share the Care: Share the Care is now a monthly event! Join us on the 2nd Saturday of each month from 9am-12pm for respite care. This program is designed to give parents a well deserved break while their children with disabilities, as well as their siblings, have fun and learn about God’s love.

Jubilee Baptist Church

660 Royce Road
Bolingbrook, IL 60440
Phone: (630) 983-1200
Fax to: (630) 983-7414

John Byrd, Pastor
RECH (Reaching Every Child’s Heart)
(Special Needs Ministry)

Purpose: To reach every child and their families with special needs. We will use care and sensitivity when dealing with children, adult and youth that have physical, emotional, learning and autism spectrum disabilities, while at the same time maintaining a safe environment for everyone. To learn more about the Ministry you can go to our Website or email us.

Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church

36 N Ellsworth St. Naperville, IL60540
Phone: (630) 355-1081
Contact Name: Mary (RE Office)
People with disabilities are welcomed to the spiritual and social life of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish. As a parish community we strive to meet the catechetical and sacramental needs of each person.. Children and adults with special needs, whether it be physical, mental or emotional, will find the R.E.A.C.H. program is structured to meet the needs of each individual. We meet on Saturday mornings from September through March. The Knights of Columbus financially supports this program as part of their dedicated work on behalf of those with special needs.

St. Raphael Catholic Church

1215 Modaff Rd.
Naperville, IL60540
Phone: (630) 355-4545
Contact Name: Jeanne McDonald
Contact Email:
Children are grouped according to age and/or ability. Each group has a Lead Catechist and each student is assigned a Helper Catechist. Classes are held twice a month on Saturday mornings from September to April. Sessions are from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and follow a routine. Each class begins with prayer. Students then work on a craft that relates to the day's lesson. The Lead Catechist then conducts a formal lesson and concludes the lesson with prayer. Finally, all the groups come together for snack time, singing, sharing, and socializing.

Congregation Beth Shalom

772 W 5th Ave
Naperville, IL 60563
Phone: (630) 961-1818
Contact Name: Barbara Nicker Bernstein
Contact Email:

We have religious education classes for students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. All classes meet on Sunday mornings for two hours and students in grades 3 through 6 also meet from 4:30 to 6:15 on Tuesday afternoons because they are learning how to read Hebrew and need more time to learn the language. We do not have a separate special education class per se but rather work with each family individually with a special education volunteer to see what the family's goals for their child are, to look at his IEP and to see how/if we are able to modify our learning environment and or class work so their child can be part of our school community and he and his family can become part of our greater synagogue community. The special ed volunteer acts as a support for the student, teacher and as a liaison with the parents.


These resources are great tools for different disabilities not just for autism
From Autism Speaks

Going to Church: A Guide for Children with Autism
This Power Point presentation is designed to help prepare children with autism for trips to church.

Going to Synagogue: A Guide for Children with Autism
This Power Point presentation is designed to help prepare children with autism for trips to synagogue.

Religion: Going to a Place of Worship
The National Autistic Society
Religion is an important part of many people's lives. Parents often ask for strategies to use when they take their child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to a place of worship. These strategies are from the UK National Autistic Society.

Inclusion in Faith Communities: Some Tips for Parents to Get Started
by Bill Gaventa, M.Div., and Mary Beth Walsh, Ph.D. (PDF)


Disclaimer: IPSN PTA and IPSD 204 does not endorse or recommend any particular organization, business or person. These links are provided only as a convenience to users. Parents/guardians are responsible for determining the potential merits of such providers.


Getting kids involved with hobbies is important. A hobby provides interesting and enjoyable diversion from everyday responsibilities.

Children should always be encouraged to partake in outside endeavors that they find to be fun and exciting. A hobby can be anything at all that one does for self-enjoyment.

We are very fortunate that there are a multitude of organizations in our and surrounding communities that has recreations of many different varieties geared towards all types of disabilities.

Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA)

A Special Recreation Association (SRA) is formed by two or more park districts/villages who want to join together to provide recreation programs for their residents with disabilities. The SRA have their own programs - Sports, Special Olympics, preforming arts, art & crafts, social clubs for children and Adults.


116 N. Schmale Road
Carol Stream, IL 60188
(630) 681-0962

WDSRA has been providing fun, recreational opportunities to individuals of all ages with disabilities since 1976. WDSRA is a cooperative extension of nine park districts including Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Roselle, Warrenville, West Chicago, Wheaton, and Winfield.


Naperville Park District

Park Districts offers a big selection of programs for all ages - let them know that the participant need an aid and they will work with your local SRA to provide an aid at no extra cost. That goes for the summer day camp programs too.


320 W. Jackson Avenue
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 848-5000

The Naperville Park District’s mission is to provide recreation and park experiences that enhance the quality of life for our community, including benefits such as community health, environmental education, social connections, and personal growth.


Fox Valley Special Recreation Association (FVSRA)

A Special Recreation Association (SRA) is formed by two or more park districts/villages who want to join together to provide recreation programs for their residents with disabilities. The SRA have their own programs - Sports, Special Olympics, preforming arts, art & crafts, social clubs for children and Adults.


2121 W. Indian Trail
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 907-1114

The Fox Valley Special Recreation Association (FVSRA) provides recreation and leisure opportunities for its residents with special needs.  FVSRA serves as an extension of the 7 park and recreation agencies throughout the Fox River Valley region:  the Park Districts of Batavia, Fox Valley, Geneva, Oswegoland, St. Charles and Sugar Grove, and the South Elgin Parks and Recreation Department.


Fox Valley Park District

Park Districts offers a big selection of programs for all ages - let them know that the participant need an aid and they will work with your local SRA to provide an aid at no extra cost. That goes for the summer day camp programs too.


555 S Eola Rd
Aurora, IL 60504
(630) 851-8990

The Fox Valley Park District is one of the largest park districts in Illinois. The district serves the villages of Aurora, Montgomery and North Aurora and several unincorporated areas. Its facilities are located in Kane, DuPage, Kendall and Will counties


Other Recreation Venues


Boy Scouts
Suzette Rizzi  (630) 205-0192

The Three Fires Council mission is to provide individuals with special needs opportunities to participate to the best of their abilities in an all-inclusive Scouting Program offered by the Boy Scouts of America.


Girl Scouts
WDSRA has a Girl Scout program
Girl Scout Troop 200
For girls ages 7-17 offering the opportunity to build courage, confidence, leadership, and make friends along the way. Earn badges; sell Girl Scout cookies and field trips. Meetings are held twice a month.
For more information on Girl Scouts, please contact
Amy Wilson at (630) 681-0962 ext. 561 or

YMCA has some adaptive programs for persons with disabilities. They do not provide an aid for typical programs or camps. Please check with your local YMCA to see if they can adapt the programs for your participants’ skill/ability.

YMCA has an after school daycare called Safe N’ Sound program.
YMCA of Metro Chicago
Naperville/Aurora, Oswego & Downers Grove

B.R. Ryall YMCA
Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Warrenville, West Chicago & Winfield



Disclaimer: IPSN PTA and IPSD 204 does not endorse or recommend any particular organization, business or person. These links are provided only as a convenience to users. Parents/guardians are responsible for determining the potential merits of such providers.



Disclaimer: IPSN PTA and IPSD 204 does not endorse or recommend any particular organization, business or person. These links are provided only as a convenience to users. Parents/guardians are responsible for determining the potential merits of such providers.


Day Camps


Overnight Camps


Respite Camps


Summer Programs


Contact Us

Is there something you'd like to tell us? Please let us know!

Here's what to do if you have a school-specific concern.

Street Address

Crouse Education Center (map)

780 Shoreline Drive

Aurora, IL 60504

Main Office Phone


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Click here for more detailed registration information.


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©2007 Indian Prairie Community Unit School District 204, serving Aurora, Naperville, Bolingbrook, & Plainfield, IL.