Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA


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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. []


2015-2016 Executive Committee 

  • Co-Presidents - Trudy Sanchez & Amie Crouse
  • 1st VP - Julie Parker
  • Treasurer - Beth Farland
  • Special Needs Liaison Chair - Michelle Linden
  • Special Needs Resource Fair Chair - Amie Crouse
  • 2nd Vice President: open
  • Recording Secretary: open
  • Corresponding Secretary: open 

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.









Wednesday, May 11, 2016
7:00 PM @ Tommy Nevins

3032 English Row Ave, Naperville
Agenda: 2016-17 Executive Committee Nominations & Voting



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. 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.


2015-2016 IPSN PTA Executive Committee Bios


Contact us at


Amie Crouse - Co-President

I love my special needs community!  We have 3 children, ages 5, 7, and 9.  Our 7 year old, Sam,  was born with severe brain damage from Hydrocephalus and suffers from mental retardation, epilepsy, global developmental delay, vision issues, ADHD, and all kinds of silly little boy stuff! Sam started with Indian Prairie School District when he was 3 years old and he is now in 2nd grade at Peterson Elementary and loving every minute of it.  Our home school is Gombert Elementary where both of our daughters attend.
I have been the Treasurer of the Special Needs PTA 2011-2014 and have organized the Special Needs Resource Fair and Bunco Nights.  After all of that is complete, I spend the other hours of my life selling Real Estate for john greene!


Trudy Sanchez - Co-President

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 was corresponding secretary in 2014-15. I look forward to advocating with you and for you.



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 2015-16 school year, my oldest will be a junior at Waubonsie and my youngest will be in the fifth 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.


Beth Farland - Treasurer

I am a Stay at Home Mom with a daughter, Kaitlin, who is in 3rd grade at Spring Brook Elementary School in Naperville. My daughter and I both have Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy which means low muscle tone. I found about our diagnosis when Kaitlin was born in 2006. Kaitlin and I along with my husband moved here in 2011 from Buffalo, NY. We are originally from Tampa,FL.
I have been a member of the IPSN PTA since 2012 and have been Special Needs Liaison for Spring Brook Elementary since Kaitlin started Kindergarten and will continue in this role. I am taking on the IPSN PTA Treasurer role for 2015/2016 and look forward to a great year!




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

Street Address

Crouse Education Center (map)

780 Shoreline Drive

Aurora, IL 60504

Main Office Phone


Electronic Communication

IPSD Essentials

Useful webpages and printouts for students and parents…

New to the District?

Our registration packet will help you get started…

Our Registration page has more info, including online registration, boundary maps, residency requirements, and district fees.


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