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Workshops & Networking Opportunities

Central Iowa ASPIRE

ASPIRE is a parent-led support group for parents, educators and professionals who have or who work with children who have special needs. There is no cost to attend. For more information, contact Jamie Gurganus at (800) 255-0405, ext. 12327. 

Conversation & Coffee 

Support and networking for parents who have children on an IFSP or IEP in the Johnston, West Des Moines, Ankeny, Saydel, Urbandale, Dallas Center-Grimes and Waukee school districts. Others are welcome to join as well. Topics are for all ages--early childhood to transition from high school. Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month, Sept.-May, except March, when the meeting is the second Thursday due to Spring Break. Meet from 9:30-11 a.m. at 100th St. Corner Café, 3017 100th Street, Urbandale. Food is available for purchase. An RSVP is appreciated but not necessary. For more information, contact Kari Paulsen or Susan Becker.

2018-19 Flyer
Conversation & Coffee flyer image

Resource Fair

This annual event offers students with special needs and their families an opportunity to meet service providers from around central Iowa. Family members can attend presentations on Challenging Behavior (all ages), Transition (families of students 14 and older) and Family Engagement (all ages). 

To enable parents’ full participation in breakout sessions, stipends are available for parents to bring along a childcare provider or assistant for their child.  Families attending the Resource Fair receive free admission to the Science Center and free parking in the parking ramp. The Science Center opens to the general public at 10 a.m. and families are welcome to explore at their leisure. For more information, contact Terry Mendell

Oct. 20, 2018
Science Center of Iowa
8:30 a.m. - noon

SMART (Supportive Moms and Dads Accessing Resources Together)

Ankeny support group for family members of children and young adults with special needs. The group no longer meets in person but has an active Facebook Group. Search for Ankeny Smart. For more information, contact Kari Paulsen.

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