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Workshops & Networking Opportunities

image of 2017 Resource Fair flyerResource Fair

Our Main Event of the Year!


Oct. 21, 2017
9 a.m. - noon
Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines

This free event offers families of children with special needs an opportunity to meet service providers. You're welcome to tour the Science Center as our guest after attending the fair! Break out sessions will be held concurrently at 9 a.m., followed by table sessions from 10 a.m. - noon.

You'll be able to choose from one of the following break out sessions:

  • Managing Your Child's Challenging Behavior
  • Post-secondary Education & Employment Options
  • Service Providers

Resource Fair Program w/ Session & Vendor Descriptions (PDF)

To assist families in getting the most benefit, a stipend to reimburse you for childcare will be offered. Feel free to bring your childcare provider along to assist while you attend a session. Click on the image above to learn more or contact Terry Mendell, Lead Parent Coordinator at (800) 255-0405 ext. 17135.

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 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 9:30-11:00 a.m. at Cindy's 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.

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.

© 2017 Heartland AEA 11. All Rights Reserved.